Food by VICE

Grilled Cabbage with Chickpea Mole Recipe

Not your traditional mole at all, and we're quite alright with that.

by Claudette Zepeda-Wilkins
Nov 9 2018, 2:00pm

Servings: 4
Prep: 20 minutes
Total: 1 hour


for the cabbage:
1 small purple cabbage, quartered
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 Anaheim peppers, thinly sliced
1/2 English cucumber, thinly sliced into circles
1 cup cherry tomatoes
3 Mexican sour gherkins (optional)
1 (15.5 ounce|438 grams) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 shallot, minced
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
2 tablespoons seaweed flakes
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1 lemon, juiced
1 tablespoons capers
1 teaspoon garam masala
pinch chile flakes
1/4 preserved lemon peel, minced
1/4 cup chicken stock

to garnish:
4 shiso leaves
Cilantro blossoms
Bronze fennel blossoms and fronds
Nasturtium blossoms
Cilantro leaves


1. Peel off several outer leaves of the cabbage and thinly slice them. Toss them in a bowl with the cucumber and red onion.

2. Heat the oil in a large cast-iron skillet on high until smoking. Toss the cabbage wedges with salt and cook, turning as needed, until charred all over, 5 minutes.

3. Place the tomatoes, Anaheim, and sour gherkins in a medium saucepan with half of the diced shallot and cook, stirring (no oil!), until the tomatoes are just beginning to split, 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and squeeze half a lemon over the top and add a pinch of chile flakes.

4. Add 1 tablespoon oil to the saucepan along with the remaining diced shallot and the chickpeas. Cook for 3 minutes, then add in the oregano, seaweed, coriander, and salt. Cook, stirring, until just beginning to brown, 4 minutes. Add 1 1/2 cups water and cook, stirring, 2 minutes more. Transfer half to a blender and purée until smooth, then return to saucepan along with the capers, garam masala, butter, the lemon peel, and stock. Simmer on low for about 10 minutes.

5. Squeeze some lemon juice over the cucumber and cabbage leaves, and toss in some salt and fennel fronds. To plate, arrange the cabbage wedges on a plate, top with the chickpea mixture, arrange salad on sides. Garnish with shiso leaves, fennel fronds, pepper blossoms, and cilantro.