Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Cabbage, Apple, and Walnut Salad

Smitten Kitchen has complied a great list of all the salads she's written about since starting the blog. While skimming through, I spotted this one, made as a detox for post-Thanksgiving. I've never made a cabbage-based salad, and rarely (I'm going to work on this!) make my own dressing, so this looked like a good starter project.

Cabbage, Apple, and Walnut Salad

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 (like Smitten Kitchen, I 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.

I didn't feel like employing my mediocre cutting skills to cut the apples quite so beautifully as she did hers, but it tasted great nonetheless. Smitten Kitchen says it serves six, but to be honest, I ate pretty much all of it in one sitting for dinner. Good, good stuff. Making your own dressing is a small project, but feels like a big accomplishment, especially in a salad where you really don't do much else but chop for the rest of the meal.

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