This time of year, we eat a lot of either kale or cabbage as a salad course to nearly every meal. Shawn asked me recently if we really needed to have kale salad for the fifth night that week – I tried to disguise it with a caesar dressing…but I don’t think he bought it. It’s hard for me to go out and buy lettuce when we still have so much kale in the garden. Brush off the snow, cut and perfect in a salad. I am never sick of it and all the different varieties

Cabbage is also one of my favourites. I prepare it long roasted with onions, a little cider or chicken stock and serve it as a side. I make soup and sometimes even cabbage rolls but they are so much work and time consuming! I make a salad every night for dinner and in the fall when kale is no longer welcome at the table, I might switch to napa cabbage salad. This is one of the easiest and most delicious salads to make and I think nutritious too. I like the curly leaves of the napa cabbage and it has a mild taste. I think of it as a sturdy backdrop to many hearty things like nuts, fruits, strong citrus. It is like a bitter green without the bitterness.

I cut the leaves thinly and have a large bowl on hand. You can add lots of different things to this salad but my favorites are: walnuts, apples, red onion or shallot and cranberries. I make a dressing with lemon juice, cider vinegar or white wine vinegar, honey, garlic, mustard and vegetable oil.  Be sure to really massage the dressing into the leaves. This is a great accompaniment to pork roast or roast chicken. Don’t tell them it’s cabbage if you are worried about the response – they will never know.

Napa Cabbage Salad

½ napa cabbage thinly sliced

½ cup walnuts broken into pieces

¼ cup dried cranberries

1 tart apple like macintosh or green, sliced thinly

1 shallot thinly sliced

Kosher salt

Additions if desired:
Shaved fennel
Chopped parsley
Sliced red grapes

Dressing

1 teaspoon dijon mustard

1 teaspoon honey

1 – 2 cloves finely chopped garlic

Juice of one lemon

1 large tablespoon wine or cider vinegar

4 tablespoons vegetable oil

salt/pepper to taste

 

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