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Step Away From The Slaw – Try Griddled Cabbage

Griddled cabbage (cavolo grigliata). Credit: Clifford A. Wright

Griddled cabbage (cavolo grigliata). Credit: Clifford A. Wright

The vegetable bounty of summer should never leave one searching for recipes or wondering what to make. Keeping it simple often yields the best result. Take for instance a pan-roasted or griddled Savoy cabbage, that crinkly-skinned tender cabbage so popular with Italians. In the southern Italian region of Puglia, cavolo grigliata (griddled cabbage) is an extremely simple, surprising way to cook cabbage.

I encountered this recipe in the province of Lecce, which is the Salento peninsula, better known to the geographically-challenged as the “heel” of the Italian “boot.” All you will need for success with this preparation is the cabbage and olive oil and a little salt if desired. You can use a green cabbage cut into wedges, but I much prefer Savoy cabbage, and if a local farmers market carries them, small individual cabbages cut in half would be perfect.

I often make this while grilling something too. I have a not-too-big flat round griddle that I leave on a corner or edge of the grill and let it get hot then cook the cabbage wedges while I grill something else. As long as that griddle is hot one could also griddle some eggplant slices too and I have previously written about griddling broccoli.

Griddled cabbage

Serves 6


1 small Savoy cabbage (about 2 pounds), cut into 8 wedges

Extra virgin olive oil to taste

Salt to taste (optional)


Coat the cabbage wedges in olive oil and cook in a large cast iron skillet or cast iron griddle over medium heat until both sides are crispy golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Season with salt, if desired, and serve.

Top photo: Griddled cabbage (cavolo grigliata). Credit: Clifford A. Wright

Zester Daily contributor Clifford A. Wright won the James Beard/KitchenAid Cookbook of the Year Award and the James Beard Award for the Best Writing on Food in 2000 for "A Mediterranean Feast." His latest book is "One-Pot Wonders" (Wiley).

  • michlhw 6·28·13

    that looks divine.. what does it taste like? what’s the texture? and how do you ensure that the sides are crispy and the middle is fully cooked? i’m so curious!! definitely will try to make this the next time we fire up the grill (4th July? Whoooo)

  • katherine lener 7·2·13

    Love the photo…simple, straightforward and looks delicious!!!

  • Barbara 7·9·13

    I love Clifford’s feel for vegetables! great reminder to gardeners – this is the time for some of us to seed cabbage for fall planting.