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Charred Hispi Cabbage with Pecans and Chestnuts

Hipsi cabbage is a pointed green cabbage also known as sweetheart cabbage. Charring brings out the sweetness of this cabbage and complements the pecan and chestnut sauce.

Charred Hispi Cabbage with Pecans and Chestnuts

Serves 4

Prep time: 15 minutes | Cooking time: 40 minutes 


  • Olive oil for cooking
  • 1 medium ‘Hispi’ pointed cabbage, stalk trimmed and cut lengthwise into quarters
  • 1 medium red onion, sliced thinly
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and cut in half
  • 100g pecan nut halves
  • 180g chestnuts, pre-cooked (vacuum packed) roughly chopped
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 150ml red wine
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tsp shoyu
  • 1 tbsp cornflour mixed with 100ml water
  • Salt and black pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 175C.
  2. To make the sauce: Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a frying pan and add the sliced red onion and garlic. Soften on a low to medium heat stirring occasionally until beginning to turn golden brown.
  3. When the onions and garlic are soft and golden, add the pecan nuts, chestnuts and thyme, and cook gently for a few minutes taking care not to burn the nuts.
  4. Add the wine to the frying pan and raise the heat to cook out the alcohol for a minute.
  5. Add the bay leaf, maple syrup, shoyu and the cornflour mix.
  6. Simmer the sauce until it thickens a little, adding more water if it thickens too much, it should be glossy but not gloopy.
  7. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.
  8. To cook the cabbage you will need a second frying pan large enough to hold all the pieces or you will need to cook them in two batches. Place the frying pan on a medium heat, and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
  9. Place the cabbage quarters into the frying pan, and gently brown on all sides until golden and turning crisp and slightly charred at the edges. Add a little more oil as you turn the pieces.
  10. When the cabbage quarters are browned, remove from the pan and place onto a baking tray then into the preheated oven to cook through for 7-10 minutes until the stem is just tender when pierced with the tip of a knife. Take care not to overcook the cabbage it as it tastes best when still slightly crunchy.
  11. Serve the sauce in a serving dish topped with the Hispi cabbage quarters. Serve with garlicy mashed potato or rice.

Delicious food photography by Rob Wicks of Eat Pictures.

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