Saturday, April 25, 2009

Wouldcha look at this flirty cabbage?

She was just flirting up a storm at the Markets of Marion a few weeks back. Now, who could possibly resist her charm. Just look at those outer leaves. Don't they remind you of batting eyelashes? Or, does she look like a baby with an old-fashioned bonnet on her head? Or maybe that adorable man-eating plant in Little Shop of Horrors--what was her name? AudreyTwo? I forget. At that point, I needed to take her to my barn kitchen, to then decide which of many slaw recipes to use her in. She had been cut out of the field that morning. So, so pretty, I didn't want to cut her, but then I remembered her soul purpose was to nourish; besides, she had been taken from her roots and she would just wither away. So, the practical side of me over-ruled the artistic side and made me start chopping her apart. I have previously posted at least two other slaw recipes, but now I want to share one that I picked up from Smitten Kitchen. Hers called for Savoy Cabbage, and I never seem to have that. I have always subbed regular cabbage with very good results. On another note, I have never been fussy enough to julienne apples, or finely chiffonade cabbage, I just chop. I have made it with the blue cheese and I have made it without, equally good, so feel free to experiment. The dressing has just the right balance and it is not heavy at all. The flavor combo of sweet crisp apple, toasty walnuts and spicy cabbage really compliment each other. I could eat this every day. Tell me what you think.

Cabbage Salad with Apples and Walnuts
Adapted from Chez Panisse Fruit, via Cookstr
Serves 6

1 small savoy cabbage
1/3 cup walnuts
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Salt and pepper
½ cup olive oil
2 tablespoons creme fraiche or heavy cream
2 apples (any crisp, tasty eating variety, such as Sierra Beauty, Granny Smith, or Fuji)
1/3 cup crumbled blue cheese (optional)

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Tear off and discard the tough outer leaves of the cabbage. Cut it in half and cut out its core. Slice the halves crosswise into a fine chiffonade.

Toast the walnuts in the oven for 8 minutes. While they are still warm, first rub them in a clean dishtowel to remove some of the skins, then chop or coarsely crumble them.

To prepare the dressing, mix the vinegar with the lemon juice, some salt, and a generous amount of pepper.

Whisk in the olive oil and then the creme fraiche or cream. Taste and adjust the acid and salt as desired.

Quarter, peel, and core the apples. Slice the quarters lengthwise fairly thin and cut these slices lengthwise into a julienne. Toss the cabbage, apples, and walnuts (and blue cheese, if you’re using it) with the dressing and an extra pinch of salt. Let the salad sit for 5 minutes, taste again, adjust the seasoning as needed, and serve.


  1. That is indeed one sexy cabbage. A lovely recipe to boot!

  2. That cabbage is a beaut, and the slaw sounds fantastic with the walnuts and blue cheese!