On the menu

Recipe of the week: steamed cabbage with sunflower-seed dressing

This is a delicious dressing and works with many roasted vegetables, says Olia Hercules

I first tried something similar to this at a small restaurant in east London, says Olia Hercules. Though Japanese, its toasted-seed flavour took me back to Ukraine and I reimagined the recipe with an extra injection of home and used sunflower seeds instead of sesame. It is one of the most delicious dressings and would work on many other steamed or roasted vegetables.

Serves four as a side dish or two as a light lunch

Ingredients:
  • 100g sunflower seeds
  • 2 tbsp mild vinegar, to taste (cider or rice vinegar is good)
  • 1 tbsp honey, to taste
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce, or 1 tsp sea salt, to taste
  • 2 tbsp unrefined sunflower oil (you can use sesame or rapeseed here or something nutty to intensify the flavour)
  • 1 pointed (hispi) cabbage, or regular white cabbage
Method:
  • Preheat the oven to 180°C fan. To make the dressing, put the seeds on a baking tray and roast in the oven for 6 minutes. They should become golden and tasty. You may need to give them a little shake and put them back in for another 2 minutes; use your judgement here, as ovens vary.
  • Blitz most of the seeds into a paste, reserving a handful for sprinkling over at the end. I use an old coffee grinder for this, but a spice grinder or a mortar and pestle should do the job. Put the seed paste into a bowl and add the vinegar, honey and soy or salt, then trickle in the oil, combining it all into a smooth, thick dressing. Taste and see if you fancy more vinegar or salt or sweetness and adjust the flavour to suit. To make the dressing a little looser, add a small dash of hot water and whisk.
  • For the cabbage, set a steamer (if you don’t have one, a colander and a pan with a lid will work perfectly too) over a pot of boiling water. Whatever cabbage you are using, cut off the dry end of the stalk. If you’re using hispi, quarter the cabbage lengthways through its core. If you’re using a regular white cabbage, cut it into manageable wedges, again through the core. Steam for about 10 minutes until it looks relaxed and is easy to cut through. White cabbage might take closer to 15 minutes.
  • Let it cool down a bit and then dress with the sunflower-seed-paste dressing (I use a brush and dab it on), putting the rest in a little bowl to spoon on extra at the table. Then sprinkle the cabbage with the reserved sunflower seeds and serve.
Home Food book cover

Taken from Home Food by Olia Hercules (Bloomsbury Publishing, £26), which is out now. Photography by Joe Woodhouse. To buy from The Week Bookshop for £21.99 (incl. p&p), call 020-3176 3835 or visit theweekbookshop.co.uk.

Recommended

Archie Battersbee: the laws of life and death
Archie Battersbee’s life support was switched off on 6 August
Talking point

Archie Battersbee: the laws of life and death

Britain is getting wetter – so why are there hosepipe bans?
Bough Beech Reservoir in Tonbridge is currently showing as ‘below average’
Behind the scenes

Britain is getting wetter – so why are there hosepipe bans?

‘Horror’ start: Ten Hag has a ‘hell of a job’ at United
Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag
View from the terraces

‘Horror’ start: Ten Hag has a ‘hell of a job’ at United

Edinburgh Art Festival: from oyster readings to Scotland’s Jackson Pollock
Alan Davie’s Mama Idol (1976): ‘an artist of biting power’
In Review

Edinburgh Art Festival: from oyster readings to Scotland’s Jackson Pollock

Popular articles

Is World War Three on the cards?
Ukrainian soldiers patrol on the frontline in Zolote, Ukraine
In Depth

Is World War Three on the cards?

Will China invade Taiwan?
Chinese troops on mobile rocket launchers during a parade in Beijing
Fact file

Will China invade Taiwan?

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 11 August 2022
10 Downing Street
Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 11 August 2022

The Week Footer Banner