Serves 4 people
For the Melting Napa Cabbage
- 1 head Napa Cabbage
- 1/3 cup concentrated tomato paste
- 4 garlic cloves sliced very thin or grated
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil divided
- 1/2 tablespoon coarse Kosher salt divided
- 3 tablespoons cilantro leaves for serving
- 1 tablespoon edible flowers optional, we used arugula flowers
For the optional Pistachio Crumble Topping
- 1/3 cup raw pistachios
- 1 small garlic clove
- 2 tablespoons hemp hearts
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse kosher salt more or less to taste
Prepare the Melting Napa Cabbage
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Cut the Napa cabbage in half through the core then cut each half into quarters. You will have 8 Napa cabbage wedges. Set aside.
- In a small bowl combine the tomato paste, garlic, coriander, cumin, turmeric and black pepper. Stir to combine completely. Set aside.
- Heat 1/4 cup of the olive oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, if necessary, add as many cabbage wedges into the skillet cut side down as will comfortably fit. Season with the coarse kosher salt. Cook, turning once, until lightly charred, about 2-3 minutes per side. Transfer the seared cabbage to a plate and repeat with any remaining cabbage quarters.
- Carefully, wipe out the skillet and reduce the heat to medium. Add the remaining 1/4 cup olive oil to the skillet, once warm and beginning to shimmer add the spiced tomato paste mixture. Heat, stirring constantly, until the tomato paste begins to split and darken in color, 2-3 minutes.
- Add enough water to the skillet to come halfway up the sides, about 1 – 1 1/2 cups total. Season the liquid with salt and bring to a simmer.
- Nestle all of the seared cabbage wedges into the simmering tomato broth, overlapping if necessary. Transfer the cabbage to the oven and bake, uncovered, turning the cabbage wedges once about half way through, about 40-50 minutes. The cabbage should be falling apart tender when cooked completely.
- Serve immediately garnished with cilantro leaves and pistachio crumble if using.
Prepare the optional Pistachio Crumble Topping
- While the cabbage is cooking, combine the raw pistachios and garlic clove in a food processor. Pulse until broken down into similar sized pieces, but don’t process so long the pistachios turn into pistachio butter.
- Add the remaining ingredients to the food processor and pulse 4-5 times to combine. Store tightly covered. Refrigerate for up to 3 weeks.