I didn't wake up this morning craving grilled cabbage and bacon.
The trend in cooking lately has been using all of the ingredients you have on hand. One can argue that bacon and cabbage are both quite versatile ingredients and can be incorporated into many dishes. But the simplicity of using the two in concert makes for one delicious dish.
Cooking on the grill brings out flavors and tastes that constantly amaze me!
It's not that I have anything against making dinner on the conventional cooktop or even in the oven, but the grill brings a sneak attack of flavor that pots and pans seldom provide. Grilled cabbage and bacon is a primary example of this.
I like to experiment with what the grill does to make food taste better, and how I can use that to my advantage whenever possible. Spices, seasonings, marinades, rubs, and smoke come to mind as way to kick up a flavor profile but sometimes a hot grill and good ingredients prevail as the secret weapon in making a dish extraordinary.
If you're like me and embrace a lower-carb menu, you may be thinking of a way to enjoy a bratwurst that would make me forget all about the bun. This play on coleslaw, a warm coleslaw of sorts, is a fun change of pace and fills the bill. The idea iss to wilt the cabbage on the grill, then give it a dunk in blue cheese dressing just before serving for a warm, grilled slaw. What I ended up making was entirely different.
I took a head of cabbage and cut it in half and then down to quartered wedges. The wedges had a thick, fibrous stalk in the middle which I removed and discarded.
I wrapped the wedges in raw bacon and began to engineer a vessel out of foil to cook the cabbage. I figured a couple of sheets of foil would be a little more sturdy and act as a good heat shield so I laid two identical pieces down on the work surface.
Place the wedges in the center of foil like a couple of cub scouts sitting in a canoe. Fashion the foil around the cabbage to resemble a foil boat with a sturdy bottom. It has thick walls and an open-top. The three walls of foil around the bacon would help it cook and the sunroof on top will let in flavor while still venting out steam.
The cabbage canoe goes on the raised grill grate over direct heat at about 350F and roasts for a good 45 minutes.
As anticipated, the bacon rendered and cooked around the cabbage wedge, imposing its smoky, salty flavor on the otherwise listless cabbage.
A combination of flavorful bacon juices and grill magic transformed the cabbage into a sweet, robust salad of enhanced flavors. When I cut into the wedge, the cabbage was easy to cut thru without being a wet, puddled mess.
The inner cabbage was browned, almost caramelized.
Its nutty sweetness locked horns with the salty, crisp bacon. The combination of the two different flavors is nothing short of grill magic.
Tough to explain, but easy to enjoy.
As a side dish, Bacon Wrapped Cabbage Wedges don't get much easier to make. What started out as an accompaniment to the main dish, these bacon-wrapped cabbage wedges ended up stealing the spotlight. The wedges got gobbled up so fast they did not even last long enough to become cole slaw. They were so good, I don't really remember what else was on the menu.
Grilled Cabbage and Bacon Salad
- 1 head cabbage
- 6 slices bacon
- Cut the cabbage into six sections
- Remove the core from the cabbage
- Wrap each cabbage piece with bacon
- Place cabbage in a foil pouch with an opening at the top
- Grill at 375F for 15 min or until the bacon has rendered and the cabbage is fully wilted