Grilled-Cabbage Caesar Salad
In this summery, modern take on a Caesar salad, flame-kissed savoy cabbage replaces the usual romaine. It’s the perfect foil for garlicky bread crumbs, aged pecorino, boquerones, and a citrusy anchovy vinaigrette.
Yield: serves 4 to 6
Time: 1 hour, 40 minutes
For the cabbage:
- 2 small heads savoy cabbage (2 lb.)
- 1 Tbsp. kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
For the salad:
- 10 large garlic cloves, finely minced (¼ cup), divided
- 1 Tbsp. finely grated orange zest, plus ½ cup fresh orange juice
- 1 Tbsp. finely grated lemon zest, plus ⅓ cup fresh lemon juice
- 6 oil-cured anchovy fillets, finely minced (1 Tbsp.), or substitute anchovy paste
- 1 Tbsp. capers, finely minced
- 1 Tbsp. golden raisins, finely minced
- ½ cup plus 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup panko bread crumbs
- 2½ oz. aged pecorino cheese, finely grated (1 cup), plus more for topping
- 3 boquerones (marinated white anchovies), optional
- Prepare the cabbage: Split each head of cabbage lengthwise into quarters, leaving the core in place in order to hold the leaves together during cooking. Place the quarters on a large rimmed baking sheet, cut-side up. Sprinkle with the salt, season with pepper to taste, and drizzle with oil; rub all over the cabbage, focusing on the cut sides so that the oil and seasonings seep in between the leaves. Set aside, uncovered, to marinate for 30–40 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make the vinaigrette: In a medium bowl, add 1 tablespoon of the garlic, the orange and lemon zests and juices, anchovies, capers, and raisins; stir to combine. Slowly whisk in ½ cup of the oil; season with salt and pepper to taste. Set the vinaigrette aside.
- In a large skillet over medium heat, add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil and 3 tablespoons garlic. Cook, stirring frequently, until the garlic just begins to turn golden, 1–1½ minutes. Add the panko and gently stir to combine. Turn the heat down to medium-low and continue cooking and stirring until the panko is evenly toasted and crispy, 5–7 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper to taste, then transfer the panko to a large heatproof bowl or baking sheet and set aside to cool to room temperature.
- Cook the cabbage: Preheat a cast-iron grill pan or skillet over very high heat. Once the pan is hot, add the cabbage, cut-side down. Cook, turning occasionally, until the cabbage is charred all over, 10–12 minutes. Using tongs, transfer to a large heatproof bowl or container and cover tightly with plastic wrap or a lid. Set the cabbage aside to steam until the centers are tender when poked with a paring knife,15–20 minutes.
- Once the cabbage is tender and cool enough to handle but still warm, cut the quarters crosswise into 2-inch-wide chunks, then return to the bowl. Add the pecorino, vinaigrette, and half of the panko. Toss well to coat, then transfer the salad to a large platter or wide, shallow bowl. Top with the remaining panko, more pepper and pecorino, and the boquerones (if using). Serve warm or at room temperature.