AT THE COAL FACE
INFUSED WITH SMOKY FLAVOUR, A ROASTING OVER THE COALS HAS NEVER TASTED SO GOOD Alastair McLeod is the chefowner of Al’FreshCo, alfreshco.com.au
If this dish were listed on a menu, you might pass over it. Yet if it were called Caesar salad with grilled prawns, it would be a bestseller. Sometimes it’s all in the name. Coal-roasted cabbage takes on a pervasive smokiness yet retains a pleasant cos lettucelike crunch. Cooking over coal is so hot right now, it’s hard to imagine it went out of favour. It’s a taste that reflects our primal selves. Now which dish would you prefer?
BARBECUED RED CLAWS, COAL-ROASTED CABBAGE, CABBAGE OIL Serves: 4
1 small cabbage Extra virgin olive oil Sea salt and freshly milled pepper
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tbsp grain mustard
1 lemon, juiced
50g parmesan, finely grated
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce Choice of herbs, to garnish
8 red-claw crayfish, split time. To make dressing combine anchovies, garlic, mustard, lemon, mayo, cheese and Worcestershire. Test cabbage with a knife and when tender, carefully remove from the fire. Allow to cool, remove blackened outer leaves and coarsely shred. Toss with three-quarters of the dressing, your own choice of herbs and season. Drizzle red claws with olive oil, season and grill on preheated barbecue for two mins. Serve on salad and drizzle with remaining dressing and cabbage oil. CABBAGE OIL 1 small bunch cavolo nero, leaves stripped from stalk 150ml grapeseed oil METHOD Make deep cuts all over the cabbage with a large cook’s knife, rub with olive oil and season generously. Place amid the embers of the barbecue and cook for 1 to 1.5 hours, turning from time to METHOD FOR OIL Plunge cavolo nero leaves into rapidly boiling water. Cook for 15 secs, refresh in iced water, then drain well and pat dry. Place cabbage and oil in blender and blitz until smooth. Pass through a fine sieve.