Cabbage Timbales

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus additional for the baking dishes
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 small cabbage, about 1 pound, cored and finely shredded (6 to 7 cups)
Salt to taste
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
2 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
Freshly ground pepper
4 eggs
3/4 cup ricotta (optional)

Heat the butter over medium heat in a large, heavy skillet and add onion. Cook, stirring often, until tender, about 5 minutes. Add cabbage and salt to taste and cook, stirring often, until cabbage is tender but not browned, about 15 minutes. Stir in dill, chopped hard-boiled eggs, and pepper. Taste and adjust salt. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Generously butter 4 1-cup ramekins or a 1- or 1-1/2-quart soufflé dish. Place the ramekins or soufflé dish in a baking pan.

Beat eggs in a large bowl and beat in ricotta. Stir in cabbage filling. Add salt to taste and freshly ground pepper. Divide evenly among the ramekins. Fill the baking dish with hot water to at least halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake individual ramekins for 40 to 45 minutes, a larger soufflé or gratin for 50 to 60 minutes, until set and lightly colored. Turn off the oven and prop open the door with a wooden spoon. Leave for 10 minutes, then remove from the oven. Let sit for another 10 minutes or longer. Serve from the dish, or unmold.

Yield: 4 generous servings

Advance preparation: The cabbage mixture can be made through Step 1 a day or two ahead.

Cabbage Shakshouka

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, quartered lengthwise, then sliced thin across the grain
1 large green bell pepper, quartered lengthwise, seeded and sliced thin across the grain
1 large red bell pepper, quartered lengthwise, seeded and sliced thin across the grain
Salt to taste
1/2 medium or 1 small head cabbage, cored and shredded (about 4 cups)
2 serrano chiles or jalapeños, seeded and minced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 to 2 teaspoons harissa, to taste, or 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon lightly toasted coriander seeds, ground
1 teaspoon lightly toasted cumin seeds, ground
1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds, ground
1 28-ounce can chopped tomatoes, with juice
Freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley or cilantro, or a mix
6 eggs

Heat oil over medium heat in a large heavy casserole or skillet, or in an earthenware casserole set on a flame tamer. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, until golden, about 10 minutes. If they begin to stick to the pan add a generous pinch of salt. Add another generous pinch of salt and the peppers and cook, stirring often, until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes.

Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 30 seconds to a minute.

Add the cabbage, chiles, coriander seeds, cumin and caraway and cook, stirring, until cabbage has wilted, about 5 minutes. Stir in the harissa or cayenne, salt and pepper, stir together and add the tomatoes.

Bring to a simmer, cover partially, reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring from time to time, until tomatoes have cooked down and the mixture is thick and fragrant, about 20 to 25 minutes. Stir in all but 2 teaspoons of the parsley or cilantro, taste and adjust seasonings.

Note: If you are using an earthenware casserole, the cooking times will be longer. It will take about 10 minutes for the peppers to soften, and 30 to 40 minutes for the mixture to cook down.

With the back of your spoon, make 6 depressions in the vegetables. Break an egg into each depression. Cover and cook for 5 to 6 minutes, until the eggs are set. Sprinkle the eggs with salt, pepper and the remaining parsley and serve.