Blackened, blistered, charred, smokey…however you want to describe it, this technique for vegetables and fruits can be seen in a wide range of different cultures around the world and the food of the Levant is no exception. One of the most well-known regional dishes which uses this technique is baba ganoush, which develops its distinct flavour from blistering the aubergine first before pureeing. Eyal’s grilled cabbage dish with fennel makes for a great side alongside kebabs or kofte, or it can be a delicious part of a vegetable barbecue spread.
Time: 20 mins (prep), 1 hr 40 mins (cook)
Equipment: 1x chopping board, 1x chef's knife, 1x measuring jug, 1x tray, 1x large heavy-based pan & lid, 1x skillet grill pan, 1x tongs
Prep and cut the cabbage and fennel into similarly sized pieces.
Preheat your oven to 180°C/356°F.
Place both the cabbage and fennel straight into the pan along with a bulb of garlic that we need to cut in half. Add the sage and then season the whole pan with olive oil, salt and pepper. Finally, add the water so you cover the vegetables halfway.
Give everything a good mix and cook for 1 hour in the oven.
5 minutes before the vegetables come out of the oven get a heavy griddle pan onto a high heat.
Add the vegetables to the hot griddle and leave them to colour for 5 - 10 minutes. Let it get as dark as you like.
Place a dollop of lightly hung labneh onto the plate, add the grilled vegetables and if you'd like you can sprinkle chopped spring onions on top. And finally, I like to squeeze a fresh raw tomato over everything.
We are going to take a really simple technique that can be transferred across many different ingredients. I think this recipe should be treated as a blank canvas for you to go wild!
Add your salt and pepper after the olive oil - this will help it stick to the vegetables. This is the best time to add flavours experimenting with different spices, different herbs and fats.
We aren’t going to even look at our vegetables for an hour - let them cook and become soft and full of flavour.
After 1 hour check how soft your veggies are, let them cook for longer if you feel it is needed. Mine needed another 25/30 minutes.
We really want our griddle pan to be hot and ready to colour our veggies.
We don’t need to add anymore oil at this stage.
Try to move your vegetables as little as possible, we want them to get some colour.
My labneh has only been hung for a few hours here. You could hang it for a couple of days if you’d like a texture similar to that of Zoe’s at the start of the course.