GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. - Chef and fresh foods innovator Lisa O'Connell joined us on this St. Patrick's Day to reimagine a traditional Irish favorite, cabbage, with a few twists.

Charred Cabbage with basil and lemon butter

1 medium-sized cabbage
1/2 stick butter
1/2 lemon
10 pieces of fresh basil
Salt and pepper
Canola oil for glazing

Wash and dry cabbage, remove any lose leaves and discard or reserve for other use. Cut cabbage in half, lengthwise and into quarters. Cut pieces leaving the stem intact, as this will help the cabbage to stay together while cooking. Alternatively, the cabbage can be simply halved and charred on the cut side; this will take about 15 minutes. The halved cabbage can be cut and served accordingly once heated through with softened insides.

In a cast iron or other pan that can stand high heat, drizzle oil and add half of butter. Turn heat to medium-high and let the oil and butter get hot. Place cabbage in pan and let it sear. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Let cabbage sear about 5-7 minutes on each side-,adding remaining butter while cooking. Continuously spoon melted butter over cabbage to baste. Turn with tongs once it’s almost black. Squeeze fresh lemon juice over cabbage and lightly sear the other side for a minute and place on plate.

Stuff pieces of basil in between leaves for pops of color and flavor. Serve immediately with extra lemon wedges.

Cabbage salad with citrus vinaigrette

1/2 green cabbage, finely sliced
1/2 red cabbage, finely sliced
1/2 green pepper, chopped
3 green onions with stems, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and grated
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup sunflower seeds

Be sure all ingredients are properly washed and dried. Once prepped, toss all ingredients together in a large bowl and toss with dressing before serving. This is a very hearty salad and will keep for a bit, refrigerated, even after tossing with the dressing.

1/2 cup orange or pineapple juice
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar, honey or agave nectar (more or less for desired sweetness)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Whisk together all ingredients until sweetener is well combined. If using sugar, whisk until it’s dissolved. This can be prepared ahead of time and refrigerated for up to a week.
Recipe is easily modified to your taste and can be doubled.

Brazed Cabbage with bacon

1 small or medium cabbage
8-10 pieces of bacon
3 tablespoons of butter
Salt and pepper to taste

In a medium sauté pan over medium heat, cook bacon until just about crisp. Remove bacon and set aside on paper towel. Spoon out and discard most of the bacon fat from pan, leaving a few tablespoons in to cook cabbage. Add trimmed and quartered cabbage to pan over a medium to high heat and let it char. Sprinkle cabbage with salt and pepper to flavor and add butter. Baste cabbage with melted butter while cooking. Once cabbage has dark brown color, toss bacon back in pan and heat with cabbage. Plate and serve.

Lisa O’Connell is the Chef/Creator of Sauce Anna Lisa. Sauce Anna Lisa is a locally made pasta sauce available at the Minneapolis Farmers Market, Whole Foods, Kowalski’s and Jerry’s stores. Lisa is passionate about fresh, healthy food and loves sharing new ways to prepare simple, delicious and nutritious options.