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Coal-Roasted Cabbage with Spicy Peanut Vinaigrette
Drizzle juicy, charred cabbage wedges with a piquant Thai-style dressing and your guests will keep coming back for more. A gorgeous floral mint oil and dried red pepper threads – traditionally used in kimchee – are distinctive flourishes.
Grapeseed oil, (as needed)
1 whole green cabbage, (blemished outer leaves removed, rinsed and thoroughly dried)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Spicy Peanut Vinaigrette (recipe below)
1 bunch scallions, (chopped)
Handful fresh basil leaves, (chopped)
Handful fresh cilantro leaves and tender stems, (chopped)
2 tablespoons crushed peanuts
Dried chile threads for garnish ((available online or at Asian markets))
Mint Oil ((recipe below))
Preheat a charcoal grill to high heat or an oven to 450°F. Stack 2 or 3 sheets of aluminum foil large enough to wrap around entire cabbage. Drizzle center of foil with grapeseed oil and place cabbage on top, stem side down. Pour grapeseed oil over cabbage, roll it around to coat, and season generously with salt and pepper. Wrap up cabbage, leaving a small vent at the top for steam to escape.
Place wrapped cabbage on top of coals or into preheated oven. Roast for 25†“35 minutes, or until you feel very little resistance when you poke a knife into the cabbage. Meanwhile, make the vinaigrette.
When cabbage is done, cut it in half, then slice each half into four wedges with stem attached.
Plate cabbage wedges and dress them with spicy peanut vinaigrette, getting it in all those nooks and crannies. Sprinkle scallions, basil, cilantro, and peanuts over the top, add a pinch of chile threads here and there, then drizzle with mint oil. Serve immediately.
Spicy Peanut Vinaigrette
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh ginger
1 Fresno chile pepper, (cored, seeded, and finely chopped)
½ shallot, (minced)
1 clove garlic, (minced)
Juice of 1 lime
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
½ teaspoon toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons Asian fish sauce
1 tablespoon Sriracha hot chile sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce or gluten-free tamari
2 tablespoons canned coconut milk
3 tablespoons crunchy peanut butter
2†“3 tablespoons grapeseed oil
Freshly ground black pepper
In a medium bowl, mix together ginger, chile, shallot, garlic, lime juice, vinegar, sesame oil, fish sauce, Sriracha, soy sauce, coconut milk, and peanut butter. Whisk in grapeseed oil until sauce is smooth. Season with pepper to taste.
½ cup grapeseed oil or other high-heat cooking oil
2†“3 cups loosely packed fresh mint leaves and tender stems, (rinsed and thoroughly dried)
Heat oil in a small saucepan over medium heat until it reaches 250°F. To test temperature, use a deep-fry thermometer or simply dip a mint sprig into the hot oil. If it pops, you’re good to go.
While oil preheats, prepare an ice bath by filling a large bowl about halfway with ice and cold water. Float a smaller metal bowl in ice water to chill. Place mint in a blender (make sure both the mint and top of blender are 100 percent dry; hot oil and water do not mix!).
Pour hot oil over basil and put the lid on the blender, covering central opening with a towel to avoid splatter. Blend on low speed, slowly increasing speed to high, until mixture is smooth and even small pieces of mint are blended, 20†“30 seconds total.
Immediately pour mint and oil mixture into cold metal bowl and whisk rapidly for about 2 minutes until oil has cooled.
Pour into an airtight container, cover, and let infuse in refrigerator for 2†“3 days; any remaining basil pieces will settle to the bottom. Slowly pour mint oil into a glass storage container, stopping when you see mint particles. Strain remaining oil into container through a fine-mesh sieve or cheesecloth. Use immediately or store at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.