Brown Butter Braised Cabbage

Brown Butter Braised Cabbage

You’d think that having a blog means writing about whatever, whenever.

Truth is, I’m sitting here trying to write a blog post about cold weather St. Patrick’s day food when all I want to talk about is warm weather recipes. Pressed juices! Grain salads! Popsicles! A million glasses of lemonade!

But we’re keeping it together. At least for a couple more weeks.

Okay? Okay.

Brown Butter Braised Cabbage

As far as winter veggies go, cabbage is pretty darn good. Lovely spring green, crinkled leaves, a lot of crunch, and buttery tenderness when cooked. I recently had crunchy raw cabbage with the best ever aioli at a Japanese restaurant. Heaven.

Why we’re relegated cabbage to the “unlovable” category is beyond me. Everyone loves brussels sprouts, kale, even lowly chard. But I’m yet to hear from someone that they just love cabbage. 

Brown Butter Braised Cabbage

This recipe is a super simple preparation of savoy cabbage, cooked in a single pan with no blanching. It’s bitter, buttery, nutty, and salty. Meant to be served as a side, but I ate a giant plate of this stuff for lunch.

Start by halving and coring your cabbage, then slicing it into ribbons.

Brown Butter Braised Cabbage

Fill a pan with just enough water to cover the bottom. Salt generously. Cover and bring it to a simmer over medium-high heat.

Brown Butter Braised Cabbage

Add the cabbage strips, tossing with tongs over heat, until they’re wilted and have just a little crunch left.

Brown Butter Braised Cabbage

Set the cabbage aside on a plate, and drain away the rest of the liquid in the pan.

Melt butter in the same pan, swirling the pan over heat constantly until the butter is browned.

Brown Butter Braised Cabbage

Add a little minced garlic to the pan, then immediately add the cabbage back in and toss to coat.

Brown Butter Braised CabbageKeep cooking the cabbage until it has the amount of tenderness and caramelization you want. I cooked mine until it just started to brown on the edges.

Brown Butter Braised Cabbage

Salt to taste, and add a squeeze of lemon if you like yours less bitter.

Brown Butter Braised Cabbage

Brown Butter Braised Cabbage

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • 1 small head of cabbage (approximately 1 lb)
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • salt
  • lemon juice (optional)


  1. Halve and core your cabbage, then slice into ribbons 1/2 – 1 inch thick.
  2. Fill a large sauce pan with just enough water to cover the bottom, about 1 cup. Salt generously.
  3. Place the pan, covered, over medium high heat. When the water begins to simmer, add the cabbage.
  4. Cook the cabbage until crisp tender, tossing with tongs when needed. The cabbage should cook down to roughly half its volume.
  5. Remove the cabbage to a separate plate, and discard the cooking liquid.
  6. Place the pan back over low heat. When the remaining drops of water have evaporated, add the 2 tablespoons of butter. Swirl the pan constantly, until the butter is completely melted and browned. Butter should give off a nutty aroma.
  7. Add the garlic, then add the cabbage back to the pan. Turn up the heat to medium, cooking the cabbage until it is tender, adding a tablespoon or two more water if the pan becomes dry before the cabbage is cooked through. Cook until the cabbage is beginning to caramelize at the edges. If you would like more caramelization, continue to cook the dry cabbage for a few more minutes over medium heat, tossing with tongs.
  8. Salt to taste, and finish with lemon juice to reduce bitterness if desired.


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