Charred Cabbage with Beet Tahini and Sumac | Wine Enthusiast
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This Colorful Vegan Side Is More Complex Than It Looks

6 Servings as an Appetizer

This beautiful and deceptively simple dish offers layer upon layer of flavor. Serve it as an appetizer, side dish, as part of a vegan spread or on its own as a light lunch.

Charred Cabbage with Beet Tahini and Sumac

From Corner Office, Taos, New Mexico; Instagram: @cornerofficetaos


  • 1 head green cabbage
  • Olive oil and kosher salt, as needed
  • 1 lb. beets, peeled, trimmed, and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • ½ cup tahini paste
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • ¼ cup chili oil, or to taste
  • Sumac-Sesame Salt*
  • ¼ cup sliced scallions


Heat oven to 250°F. Peel outer leaves from cabbage and cut into 6 equal wedges, while keeping the core intact (to hold the wedges together). Drizzle with olive oil and salt and char on a hot griddle or cast-iron pan on both sides until golden brown. Transfer to a baking sheet, cover with foil, and place in oven for 30 minutes. Cool to room temperature (cabbage should be slightly warm when serving; return to oven if needed if it gets too cold).

While cabbage cooks, boil beets until tender in just enough salted water to cover. Drain, reserving beet water, and cool. Add beets to a blender with tahini, garlic, and just enough beet water to turn blades and create a thick sauce texture. Add salt to taste, if needed.

Transfer to a pastry bag (or plastic bag with the corner cut off). Transfer cabbage to a platter or individual plates. Delicately open the cabbage layers and squeeze beet tahini in the open layers. Drizzle with chili oil to taste, and sprinkle evenly with Sumac-Sesame Salt to taste. Garnish with scallions and serve immediately. Serves 6 as an appetizer.

*Sumac-Sesame Salt

Grind 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds and 1 teaspoon sea salt in a spice grinder. Transfer to a small bowl and stir in 1 tablespoon sumac and 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds.

This article originally appeared in the August/September 2023 issue of Wine Enthusiast magazine. Click here to subscribe today!