1 Whole Organic
Green Cabbage1/2 Ounce or 1 TBSP Fresh Lemon Juice
1-2 TBSP Unsalted Butter (substitute for olive oil)
Coarse Salt (to taste)
Fresh Ground Black Pepper (to taste)
1/2 Cup Lebni Yogurt (also called Kefir Cheese or sub for Greek yogurt)
1/2 TSP Garlic Powder
1 TSP Ground Sumac
Whole Foods – Cabbage, Tillamook Butter
Trader Joe’s – Garlic Powder, Salt & Pepper
Armenian Store- Sadaf brand Sumac, Abali brand Lebni
Fresh Lemon – Neighbor’s Garden
Preheat Oven 400°
This recipe is inspired by a dish at a restaurant called Charcoal Venice. At Charcoal, the “Cabbage Baked in the Embers” is literally slow cooked in charcoal embers until it is caramelized, and the bottom layer is charred. It is then served with a yogurt sauce seasoned with sumac. Sumac is not an ingredient that I see listed on menus very often, that is, unless we are in an Armenian or Middle Eastern restaurant. So when I saw it on the menu at Charcoal Venice, I was amazed and excited because sumac is an Armenian spice that my Mom and Grandma used in countless recipes, and to season kabobs, since I was very little.
When the dish arrived at our table and we tasted it for the very first time, I was pleasantly surprised. The cabbage, having been cooked for so long, fell apart with a natural sweetness and the sauce was equally delicious. I told my husband “Honey, I am definitely making my version of this at home.”
Here’s how to make my baked cabbage.
First, wash and rinse the cabbage. Cut a little off the bottom and remove any unpleasant outer leaves, if needed. Next, cut up the cabbage. Sometimes a single head of cabbage is SO HUGE I cut it in half and then slice each half into 3 or more wedges. This time I ended up with a more modest sized cabbage, so I quartered it.
Next, butter the wedges and season with coarse salt and fresh ground black pepper. If you are avoiding butter then substitute by drizzling a little olive oil over the tops of the cabbage wedges.
After seasoning the cabbage segments, wrap them in foil, kind of like one would wrap up a baked potato.
Place the foil wrapped cabbage wedges onto a baking sheet, send them into the oven preheated to 400 degrees and bake for 1 hour and 30 minutes. When they are done baking you can turn off the oven and leave the cabbage inside the oven. No need to worry about taking them out right away while your oven cools. You won’t ruin the dish.
Now, you may be asking yourself “What is Lebne?!” Lebne is a thick yogurt which tastes the same as yogurt, but the texture is far denser which makes it perfect for a “sauce” or “dip.” For this recipe Greek yogurt will taste great too, but… if you can get your hands on some Lebni style yogurt it will be worth the effort.
Mix up the yogurt, lemon juice, sumac, and garlic powder in a bowl. Stir until it is smooth. I use a little spatula or a spoon for this step.
If we feel like having a vegetarian dinner this is a dish we sometimes eat as a main course. I also prepare it as a side dish or a starter, and it has become a favorite go-to recipe at our house!
Vegetarian, gluten free, keto, main dish, side dish, appetizer.