Braised pointed cabbage with melted Emmental and crispy crumb topping

So after queueing for only ten hours at Passport Control, here we are back in Blighty (108,013 mainly avoidable Covid deaths and counting). We had filled our suitcases with all sorts of tasty European goodies gathered on our tour but regrettably, after negotiating the barbed wire and daisy cutters of no-man’s land, all were confiscated by a UK border guard chanting ‘No foreign muck allowed. God save ‘er Majesty!’. As a result all we had for our homecoming dinner was a humble and pointed cabbage found forgotten at the bottom of the fridge. Luckily there’s little that can’t be elevated by the simple addition of melted cheese, so as a result our evening meal turned out to be an immodest and indulgent welcome home.

Not quite a pointed cabbage.

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 30–40 minutes
Skill level: easy
Serves: 2 but with a portion left over … so 3 people.
Recipe: Based on recipe published in the Guardian.


  • butter – knob
  • olive oil – glug
  • 1 onion – finely sliced
  • 3 cloves of garlic – finely chopped
  • thyme or rosemary – finely chopped – 2 tbsp
  • 1 pointed cabbage* – cut into quarters
  • vegetable stock –200ml
  • Emmental cheese** – cut into 1 cm cubes – 200g
  • bread crumbs (we used a standard white bread roll)
  • parmesan – grated – 25g
  • s & p

Preheat your oven to 200C.

Put a largish oven-proof frying pan or casserole dish over a medium heat and add the oil and butter. Chuck in the onions and sauté for five minutes until softened.

Add the garlic, half the herbs and the cabbage quarters (push the cabbage down to snuggle with the onions). Sauté for another couple of minutes, turning the cabbage midway to seal both sides.

Add the stock, bring to the boil and simmer for two more minutes.

Take off the heat, season if necessary and dot with the cheese cubes.

Mix the breadcrumbs with the other half of the herbs, the parmesan and a dash of olive oil.

Sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture over the cabbage and place in the oven.

Bake for 15–20 minutes, or until the topping is golden and the cabbage moist and tender.

Serve. We couldn’t decide what to have with this so we just toasted some sourdough.

* You can of course use any type of cabbage
** Other melty cheese such as Gruyère or Fontina would work.

Verdict: Sweet, melty and cheesy underneath. Crunchy up top. Delicious throughout. If you are looking for another way to prepare a cabbage, why not try smothering it?

Drink: BN1 H2O.

Entertainment: We’ve been enjoying a gentle lockdown stroll around Cornwall in the charming company of Rick Stein.

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