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Roasted cabbage: suprisingly tasty, sweet and salty treat

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Iowa and Nebraska farmers of LoneTree Foods and the Nebraska Food Cooperative provide some local seasonal produce in winter but a variety in vegetables can be hard to find in the midwest. To add some pizzazz to the same vegetables over the next few months, try something different. Roasted brussel sprouts are a favorite winter vegetable. The roasting with olive oil, sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper yields a tasteful dish. But when you cannot get to a farmer or producer to purchase vegetables, good quality brussel sprouts can be hard to find, especially at a price that you can afford. Take a chance and try the roasting technique with other produce.

Brussel sprouts cost about $3 per pound this time of year. Cabbage was on sale for 29 cents per pound. And cabbage has a similar texture and flavor profile of brussel sprouts. To prepare, remove any outer leaves that are damaged or discolored, wash the leaves and cabbage head. Slice the cabbage into fourths then into strips. Place the cabbage strips on a sheet pan covered with parchment paper or foil. Drizzle the cabbage strips with olive oil, liberally. Then season with sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper. Toss the cabbage strips on the sheet then put in the oven at 375 degrees for 35 minutes or until some of the strips start to brown from roasting. The width of the strips are based on personal preference. If they are bigger, they will need to cook longer. If they are smaller, they will cook faster.

Eat the cabbage strips warm or cooled. Enjoy crisp natural sweetness balanced by soft salty pepperiness. The sea salt can be replaced with any flavored salt and the black pepper may be substituted for other peppers as well. Chef2 in Midtown Crossing has a variety of salts and sugars if you are looking for something like smoked Serrano salt or Habanero sugar. Salt and sugar can be purchased in less than one ounce increments, if needed.

Roasting is a good preparation choice for winter vegetables. The technique is simple, healthy, delicious; rounding out a quick meal with a few ingredients: olive oil, salt, and pepper. Try out different combinations to stretch your budget and tantalize your palette.

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