One of the hippest places to eat in LA (last I checked: I’m not the best resource on this, full disclosure) is the Kitchen in Los Feliz area. I went there after seeing a performance of “Rent” at the Pantages (told you, not the hippest). I was in the mood for something healthful and mentioned aloud that I was considering ordering the veggie stack, a sandwich made with grilled eggplant, among other things. “You know what’s great with that?” the helpful server proffered. “Bacon!” I ordered the veggie stack with bacon, which came thick cut, smokey, and flavorful, and I have never looked back.
The lesson, dear readers, is that bacon supplements otherwise inedible vegetable dishes. I have written before about Marion Cunningham, my gateway to good cooking, and today I return once more to her infinite wisdom with this dish that takes unpalatable items like cabbage and sunflower seeds which, let’s face it, are basically garbage, and with the magic ingredient, transforms them into a find supper dish!
BACONIFIED CABBAGE WITH SUNFLOWER SEEDS
Fill a pot with water and 2 teaspoons of salt; boil.
Quarter 1 head of green cabbage: it should be about 2 pounds, light green, no curly leaves. Discard the white core. Cut crosswise at 2 inch intervals and separate leaves with your hands. You don’t have to separate all the leaves, unless you are Monk.
Fry 5 slices bacon and reserve fat when it’s done. When bacon cools, chop it into bits with a knife or break it up with your fingers.
Add cabbage to boiling water and use a large spoon to push it down so it is fully submerged. When it is totally immersed, count to 8. After 8 long seconds, dump the contents of the pot into a colander in the sink. Drain away water and shake the colander to get rid of extra water.
In a large serving bowl, combine bacon fat and bacon, ¾ cup salted shelled sunflower seeds, and 1 teaspoon sugar (you can use brown sugar if you want). Add cabbage. Toss it all together with 2 large forks.
Add salt to taste (if needed) and serve hot. You may never think of veggies the same way again!