Chef Marc Doiron of Town shares a recipe for charred cabbage with avo-poblano dressing
Eating & Drinking

Chef Marc Doiron of Town shares a recipe for charred cabbage with avo-poblano dressing

The new version of Canada’s Food Guide says we should fill half our plates with fruits and vegetables. In fact, it’s mostly a visual guide, devoid of serving sizes used in the past.

And that strong image, show below, was photographed by Ottawa’s own Christian Lalonde of Photolux Studio, who has done a lot of food photography for Ottawa Magazine over the past decade.

Photo by Christian Lalonde for Health Canada

This all got us thinking about the exciting plant-forward dishes being served in Ottawa restaurants. So we brought Lalonde on for a beautiful — and hopefully useful —  photoessay/recipe roundup. Lalonde brought his own interpretation to the project, choosing to show the raw ingredients alongside the finished dish, furthering the cookbook look.

In this post, chef Marc Doiron of Town shows his prowess with plant-based cooking via a creative dish of charred cabbage.

Doiron suggests the charred cabbage dish can be a main or a side — best decide before you cut, says . When the core is left intact, the cabbage holds its shape while cooking. Begin by searing in a hot pan until blackened, then finish in the oven to cook through and bring out the sweetness. Doiron notes that charring the cabbage adds a deeper flavour to the dish, making it a little more interesting and multi-layered. When it comes to adding that flavourful dressing, make sure to cover the cabbage well so it gets between all the layers. 

Also in this series:
Melanie Boudens’ recipe for coconut-crusted tofu

Nitin Mehra’s recipes for a traditional Indian spread

Adam Vetterol’s recipes for peperonata, spelt risotto, and pan-seared trout

Photo by Christian Lalonde – Photolux Studio

Charred cabbage with avocado poblano dressing, charred poblanos, toasted seeds, fresh and puffed quinoa, crumbled feta, avocado, onion, cilantro, and lime

Head of cabbage

2 tbsp canola oil

one onion (soak in cold water to mellow the taste)

2 tbs sesame seeds, toasted

2 tbs pumpkin seeds, toasted

1 avocado, diced

1 large poblano, charred and chopped

Juice of 2 limes

1/8 cup feta cheese

2 tbs fresh cilantro

1 tbs puffed quinoa

2 tbs fresh quinoa

Start with a whole head of cabbage, cutting into quarters or eights depending on desired serving size. Make sure to leave the core intact so that the cabbage holds shape while cooking.

Add canola oil to a cast iron or non-stick frying pan, and get the pan really hot.

Add the cabbage and sear on all sides until blackened (about 10 minutes total).

Finish in the oven at 375 for an additional 20 minutes to cook it all the way through and bring out the sweetness.

To plate, cover the cabbage with the dressing so it gets in all the layers, then top with raw onion, toasted pumpkin and sesame seeds, avocado, charred and chopped poblanos, fresh lime juice, feta cheese, and fresh cilantro. Top with puffed and fresh quinoa.

Avocado poblano dressing ingredients:

1/4 white onion cut in large peices

2 tomatillos cut in half

2 poblano peppers (charred in a dry pan or open flame) skin on

1 jalapeno cut in half and seeded

2 whole garlic cloves

1/2 cup cilantro

1/4 cup olive oil

juice of 1 lime

1 ripe avocado

salt and pepper to taste


In a medium pot, combine onion, tomatillos, jalapeno, and garlic cloves. Cover with water and simmer for 10 minutes or until softened.

Cool and blend with the cilantro, olive oil, lime juice, and avocado.

Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cool and serve.