Savoy Cabbage Gratin

Soft braised cabbage meets triple-cream French cheese in this recipe adapted from our go-to cookbook, Molly Stevens’s All About Braising. It’s pure decadence, and perfect along side some roast pork or chicken during these cold winter months. Savoy cabbage, by comparison to other cabbages, is milder and sweeter, making it not only a good fit in salads, but also a much preferred alternative in just about any recipe that includes cabbage.

Just baked savoy cabbage with Saint-Marcellin cheese.
Just baked savoy cabbage with Saint-Marcellin cheese.

Take a ration of soft, creamy, pungent cheese – Molly Stevens calls for Saint-Marcellin, (and that’s what we used — it comes in a tiny little terra cotta clay crock) – and cut it into bits and nubs, which you then scatter over the top of the dish of meltingly tender cabbage. Next, return said cabbage to the oven for another ten minutes, just long enough to melt the cheese and make the kitchen smell outrageously savory and complex.

Small crock of saint-marcellin cheese.
Small crock of saint-marcellin cheese.

Savoy Cabbage Gratin with Saint-Marcellin

  • 3 T. butter
  • 1 head savoy cabbage (about 1 1/2 lbs), quartered, cored, and sliced into 1/2 inch wide shreds
  • 1 bunch scallions, white and green parts, sliced into 1/2 inch-wide pieces
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 1/4 c. chicken stock
  • 1 ripe Saint-Marcellin cheese (about 3 oz) (substitute a good triple-cream cheese such as Brillat-Savarin, Saint Andre, Explorateur, etc)
Chopped savoy cabbage and scallions ready for the braise.
Chopped savoy cabbage and scallions ready for the braise.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Butter a large gratin dish.

In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat.  Add the cabbage and scallions, season with salt and pepper, and saute, stirring ofen until the cabbage is just beginning to brown, 10-12 minutes.  Pour in the stock, bring to a steady simmer, scraping the bottom of the pan, and cook for about 2 mintues.

Scrape the cabbage mixture and all its juices into the gratin dish.  Cover tightly with foil then place in the oven and bake for 45 minutes.  Remove the foil and contine to cook until the liquid is mostly evaporated, another 20 minutes or so.

Cut or tear the cheese into small lumps and scatter across the gratin.  Increase oven temperature to 375 and cook until the cheese is thoroughly melted, about 10 minutes.  Serve hot or warm as a first course, side dish, or on its own as a light supper.  Enjoy!

What is savoy cabbage?  Let’s start with the appearance. Savoy cabbage has a very distinctive look. The highly contrasting shades of green, combined with the the deeply crinkled texture of the leaves, make savoy cabbages very appealing to the eye. Some may look at these rough looking leaves and assume that they are tough and hard, even more so than the common, green cabbage that most people are used to, but they would be wrong.Image

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