A few weeks ago when I hosted a pot luck dinner for some friends from my nutrition school days, I promised on this blog to post all the recipes from the evening. This napa cabbage salad was originally on the menu (but got usurped by Isa and Terry’s Caesar). Well, tonight we ate the salad with/for dinner, so I’m happy to finally present the recipe here.
Napa is one of those foods that seems to straddle two different types of vegetable: is it a lettuce (genus lactuca)? Is it a cabbage (genus brassica)?* What I love about it is its perma-crunch quality; even the next day, and even if you’ve thrown foresight to the winds and dressed the entire salad, the leftovers are still crisp. In fact, my HH remarked this evening that he prefers this salad on the second day, as the flavors mature! (I’ll try that next time I make a salad of mesclun greens, too: “Yes, that’s right Honey, it’s supposed to be limp and a bit slimy; that’s just what happens on the second day, after the flavors mature“).
After a long day of grocery shopping, errands, school work, and grumbling over the thermostat falling once again, I wasn’t feeling overly hungry (shocking, I know, but it does happen once in a while). I’d picked up some sliced turkey for my HH, and had the napa in mind for me. Turned out to be the perfect dinner for a six-foot one, 195-pound male carnivore and a five-foot four (and a half!), mumblemumbleunclearnumber-pound female vegetarian: turkey sandwich and napa salad for him; a big plate of napa salad for me. Mmm. Can’t wait for the mature leftovers, tomorrow.
Napa Cabbage Salad
This fabulous salad recipe was given to me by my friend Barbara, who got if from someone else (exactly whom, she can no longer remember). The two essential components, I’ve found, are the napa and the dressing; pretty much everything else can be adjusted or substituted. This is the type of salad that invites picking at it, right out of the salad bowl, once you’ve already finished what’s on your plate.
1 whole napa cabbage, washed, trimmed, and sliced thinly on the diagonal
1 cup cooked and shelled edamame (we were out, so I just used snap peas)
1 carrot, grated, if desired
1/4-1/3 cup toasted pine nuts
1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
8 drops stevia (or you can use sugar, about 1/4 cup)
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp. tamari or soy sauce
1 Tbsp. toasted sesame oil
1 very small onion, grated on the finest holes of your grater (it should almost liquefy)
1 clove garlic, crushed
Toss the cabbage, edamame, carrot (if desired), pine nuts, and sesame seeds in a large salad bowl.
In a smaller bowl, combine the dressing ingredients and whisk to mix well. Pour over salad and toss to coat. Makes about 6 servings.