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On a recent visit to Birmingham, Alabama, I stumbled into Yeh Man Caribbean restaurant, where I was greeted by a relaxed dude and the perfume of curry. "For someone who looks lost, you sure know how to order," he said. I sat with my oxtails, rice, and distractingly delicious Jamaican-style cabbage, wondering why cabbage was not more a part of the American diet.

The thing with cabbage is that it can be boring or stinky. Not so with this magically complex side that needs little more than a rotisserie chicken to complement it. A toss in oil, salt, and sugar draws out the cabbage's natural moisture, and the hot oven wilts it while offering delightfully crisped edges. The habanero? Well, you can thank Yeh Man.

Keith's Recipe Breakdown

Follow These Steps:• Preheat oven to 450°.• Combine cabbage, onion, oil, sugar, black pepper, and salt in a large bowl; toss to coat. (It's OK if the cubes start to separate.)• Divide cabbage mixture between 2 foil-lined jelly-roll pans. Bake at 450° for 20 minutes, stirring and rotating pans after 10 minutes.• In the same bowl that you used for the cabbage, combine carrots, vinegar, and hot sauce; toss to coat.• Remove cabbage from oven, and carefully transfer to the bowl with the carrots. Add butter; toss gently to combine.• Heat broiler to high. Return cabbage mixture to pans, spreading evenly. Place each pan under the broiler for 3 minutes (this will be a two-phase operation) or until edges begin to brown and evenly crisp.

CARIBBEAN-STYLE ROAST CABBAGE WITH CARROTSHands-on: 10 min. Total: 40 min.Nicely roasted cabbage turns sweet and earthy, with a deliciously silky texture. There's a beautiful balance of flavors here—sweetness from cabbage and carrots, fire from hot sauce, brightness from vinegar, and richness from butter.

SERVES 8 (serving size: ¾ cup)CALORIES 89; FAT 3.5g (sat 1.1g, mono 1.5g, poly 0.6g); PROTEIN 2g; CARB 14g; FIBER 5g; CHOL 4mg; IRON 1mg; SODIUM 243mg; CALC 72mg


VARIATIONAPPLE AND CARAWAY ROAST CABBAGEReplace carrot ribbons with 3 cups thinly sliced Honeycrisp or Fuji apple. Substitute 1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard and 2 teaspoons toasted caraway seeds for the habanero sauce.

SERVES 8 (serving size: ¾ cup)CALORIES 95; FAT 3.6g (sat 1.1g); SODIUM 223mg

For more cooking tips and kitchen science secrets, check out MAD DELICIOUS: The Science of Making Healthy Food Taste Amazing!

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