[Photograph: Jennifer May]

Amy Thielen's recently released cookbook, The New Midwestern Table, has more than a few recipes involving cabbage. (This fact is not terribly surprising, given the hardy vegetable's ability to withstand even the harshest of Midwestern winters.) Most are simple, familiar preparations—steamed, simmered, and slawed. But one rendition in particular caught my eye: A crisp, sautéed version flecked with poppy seeds and scented with ginger sounded light, fresh, and a flavorful contrast to a hearty hotdish or roast.

Why I picked this recipe: I am a big fan of any cabbage-y vegetable once it gets a good sear on it. Throw in ghee and ginger, and I'm even happier.

What worked: I loved the pop of the poppy and sesame seeds amongst the cabbage leaves. Sautéing the cabbage in ghee was a genius move—it adds the warm richness of butter without risking burning.

What didn't: Unless you have a giant, 14-inch-plus skillet, you will definitely want to cook the cabbage in batches to avoid steaming.

Suggested tweaks: You could use any brassica in place of the cabbage here. Brussels sprouts or cauliflower would be especially good.

As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of The New Midwestern Table to give away this week.

About the author: Kate Williams is a freelance writer and personal chef living in Berkeley, CA. She is a contributor to The Oxford American, KQED's Bay Area Bites, and Berkeleyside NOSH. Follow her @KateHWiliams.

Comments can take up to a minute to appear - please be patient!

Previewing your comment: