Grilled Cabbage With Paprika-Lime Butter
The ideal grilled cabbage is smoky and sweet, with crackly leaves and a core that yields to a knife and fork. To make that a reality and ensure it isn’t dry, tough or bland, soak the cabbage wedges in water and salt while the grill heats. The wet brine will soften and season every bit of the hardy vegetable (like in kimchi and sauerkraut). Once the cabbage is drained and over the grill’s flame, the water trapped in the crevices will steam the inner leaves, while the cabbage’s surfaces will crisp and brown. A smoky-citrusy butter melts into the wedges, adding richness and luxury, but a creamy dressing or a bright sauce would be great, too.
- Serves: 4 persons
- 1medium green, red or Savoy cabbage (about 2 pounds)
- Kosher salt (such as Diamond Crystal)
- ¼cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1teaspoon finely grated lime zest (from 1 lime)
- 1small garlic clove, finely grated
- ½teaspoon smoked paprika
- Hot sauce or red-pepper flakes, to taste
- Olive oil, as needed
Step 1Heat the grill to medium-high.
Step 2Remove any wilted leaves from the cabbage, then cut through the root into 2-inch-thick wedges. Transfer to a large bowl or resealable plastic bag and add 1/4 cup salt. Mix thoroughly with your hands to work the salt into the cabbage. Add 3 cups of water and stir to combine. Set aside, tossing occasionally, while the grill heats or up to 1 hour.
Step 3In a small bowl, use a fork to mash together the butter, lime zest, garlic and smoked paprika. Season to taste with salt and hot sauce.
Step 4When ready to grill, drain the cabbage and pat the outsides very dry. Drizzle with olive oil to coat. Clean the grill grates with a grill brush, then lightly grease the grates. Add the cabbage and cook, covered if using a gas grill, until the cabbage is floppy and deeply charred on all three sides, 6 to 10 minutes per side.
Step 5Transfer to a platter or plates. While still hot, spread the cabbage with the paprika-lime butter.