Smoky red cabbage wedges with lentils and sumptuously creamy green tahini. Serve this vegan, gluten free, flavor-packed dish as an appetizer, side, or plant-powered main. All I can say is whoa(!). My taste buds have never been more appeased with a hunk of cabbage.
Cooking cabbage is really sublime; it mellows out the cruciferous funk and turns a somewhat pervasive plant into something far more pleasantly sweet. However, adding some slick char marks and smoky depth really brings the cabbage to DELICIOUS new heights.And if I wasn’t sufficiently enamored with tahini’s nutty taste and innate flexibility already, turning the unctuous paste into a vibrant, emerald green sauce has solidified my love for life.
Green tahini is perfect for this time of year, when the spring air has us craving fresh flavors with herbaceous accents. It’s also quite versatile: toss in whichever herbs you have on hand. I kept it casual with a handful of fresh basil, but feel free to add cilantro, mint, and/or parsley, too.
I highly recommend Soom Foods tahini, if you can find it. If not, Whole Foods 365 brand is also great!If you have any green tahini leftover (I licked my platter and utensils clean), use it to brighten up sandwiches or wraps, or serve it as a sauce for fish, lamb, chicken, or grain bowls.
This recipe is elegant, yet incredibly simple. Perfect for spring entertaining (or weeknight meals alike), whether served as a light entree or hearty appetizer or side. I say hearty because it is quite filling. Lentils boost the fiber count, while tahini offers satiating, heart-healthy fats for extra staying power. Sprinkle some crushed pine nuts on top for added texture and finish this glorious dish off with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and you will be cabbage nirvana – guaranteed!
As always, if you make this recipe, be sure to tag #dishingouthealth so I can see your beautiful creations!
- ¼ cup dried black lentils, rinsed
- 1 cup unsalted vegetable stock
- 1 small head red cabbage
- 3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- ½ tsp. sea salt, divided
- ¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper, divided
- ¼ cup tahini (I recommend Soom brand)
- ½ cup fresh basil
- 3 Tbsp. filtered water
- 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- 1½ tsp. pure maple syrup
- 1 clove garlic
- ¼ tsp. cumin
- 2 Tbsp. finely chopped pine nuts (optional)
- Combine lentils and stock in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 40 to 45 minutes or until lentils are tender.
- Remove the loosest, toughest outer leaves from the cabbage, and cut into 8 evenly sized wedges. Do not remove the stalk or inner core. Brush all sides evenly with 2 Tablespoons of the oil. Season with ¼ tsp. of the salt and ⅛ tsp. of the black pepper.
- Heat remaining 1 Tablespoon oil in a grill pan or cast iron skillet over medium-high. Cook cabbage wedges for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the edges are blackened and the cabbage is beginning to soften. Flip each wedge over, and cook for an additional 5 to 7 minutes. Remove the cabbage when it is beginning to wilt, but still firm in the middle. Transfer to a platter.
- While cabbage cooks, place remaining ¼ tsp. salt, ⅛ tsp. black pepper, tahini, basil, filtered water, lemon juice, maple syrup, garlic, and cumin in a blender. Blend until smooth. If sauce is too thick, add 1 additional tablespoon filtered water.
- Spoon lentils over cabbage wedges. Drizzle green tahini overtop. Garnish with chopped pine nuts and fresh herbs, if desired.