First there was courgetti, then we went mad for cauli (rice, steaks, pizza bases, and more) but 2017 is the year of the hispi cabbage (and it’s in season, right now). Otherwise known as sweetheart or pointed cabbage, this sweet green leaf is the jackpot of the veg box. Ideally portioned – one cabbage, which you can buy for as little as 65p, can feed two to four – it’s supremely tender, takes minutes to cook, and delivers on flavour.

Forget boiling it in a hydrogen sulphide fug or serving it as punishment in a diet soup, make like the chefs in the know and serve it pan-fried and roasted in a trendy wedge.

Like most cabbage, it loves butter and olive oil, but we like it served with this zingy and fresh romesco sauce. It’s also delicious with lamb or fish, or all by itself with a generous pinch of salt. Move over kale, there’s a new brassica in town…


  • olive oil
  • 1/2 sweetheart (hispi) cabbage
  • 4 from a jar piquillo peppers in oil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 25g hazelnuts, plus 1 tbsp chopped to serve, toasted
  • 1 slice stale sourdough, torn into pieces
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp sherry vinegar


  • STEP 1

    Heat the oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Heat a frying pan over a medium heat and add 2 tbsp oil. Season the cabbage well and put in the pan, cut-side down. Put a plate on top to weigh it down and ensure the whole cut surface is in contact with the pan. Cook for 2-3 minutes until golden and charred. Remove from the pan and carefully cut in half lengthways. Put the two halves back into the pan on the non-charred side and cook for another 2-3 minutes until golden.

  • STEP 2

    Put on a baking tray and bake in the oven for 6-8 minutes until a sharp knife pierces the core easily.

  • STEP 3

    Meanwhile, to make the romesco sauce, whizz the peppers, garlic, hazelnuts, sourdough, smoked paprika and a good splash of the oil from the pepper jar in a small food processor until smooth. Season.

  • STEP 4

    To make the dressing, lightly whisk the extra-virgin olive oil and sherry vinegar.

  • STEP 5

    Spoon some of the romesco sauce onto the plate, put the cabbage wedge on top, and finish with a drizzle of dressing and a sprinkle of hazelnuts.


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