Friday, November 28, 2008

cabbage, apple and walnut salad

cabbage, apple and walnut salad

Today might have started off as Pie for Breakfast Day but I think we all know that the day after Thanksgiving is all about detox. Away with the heavy cream! Begone, you cheesy gratins! Skedaddle, you deep, gooey casseroles, sticky-sweet yams topped with charred marshmallows and green beans with fried onions. Please, don’t make me eat that butter and drippings-laden gravy again… at least until tomorrow.

Detox Day deserves its own dish, and though it is a tad late to get this one in for dinner tonight, I would like to offer up this cabbage, apple and walnut salad as the antidote to a meal that sent us back to the store for more butter and heavy cream not once but three times. (Gasp! My arteries!) This salad is perfect–it has all of the flavors of the season, but also a crunchy healthfulness so missing from the week’s main event, oh and also that slice of pie we know you’re having for dessert anyway.

ahoy, savoy



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

This salad is great as it is, but I am already itching to hack the recipe. I’d imagine that some snipped chives or perhaps a pinch of fresh dill would be great, or maybe some diced celery or maybe even a tablespoon of creamy horseradish swapped for the creme fraiche. This recipe is infinitely tweakable.

Serves 6

1 small savoy cabbage
1/3 cup walnuts
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons creme fraiche or heavy cream (we used sour 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.


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