Charring vegetables has been a chef "thing" for years and is key here. If you think you've burned dinner, you're doing it right!
Servings: 2 servings
pieces dried kombu
medium pointed cabbage or green cabbage
about 1½ pounds, outer leaves removed
½ stick unsalted butter
apple cider vinegar
A spice mill or a mortar and pestle
Grind kombu in a spice mill or with a mortar and pestle to a fine powder. (You should have about ¾ tsp.) Heat oil in a medium heavy skillet (such as carbon steel or cast iron) over medium-high and add half of cabbage, cut side down (reserve remaining half for another use). Cook cabbage, undisturbed, until underside is almost blackened (the edge of the sides will start to brown as well), 10–15 minutes.
Reduce heat to medium-low, add butter to skillet, and shake pan to help butter get in, around, and under cabbage. As soon as butter is melted and foaming, tilt skillet toward you and spoon browning butter over cabbage, being sure to bathe the area around the core (thick and dense, this part will take the longest to cook), 30 seconds. Stop basting and let cabbage cook, undisturbed, 3 minutes, then baste again, 30 seconds more. Repeat cooking and basting process twice more (butter will continue to get darker as it cooks, and that's okay; add a knob or two more to bring it back from the brink), adding kelp to brown butter just before final basting. At this point, cabbage should be tender (a cake tester or skewer inserted into the core should meet with no resistance) and the outer leaves have pulled away from one another. If cabbage is not done, repeat cooking and basting process once more.
Transfer cabbage to a cutting board and cut into two quarters. Pull leaves open slightly and tuck basil here and there between a few leaves. Drizzle with vinegar and season with salt. Let cabbage sit a minute or two for basil to soften before serving.
Recipe by Christian Puglisi, Relae, Copenhagen, in Bon Appétit magazine.