Now that it's Spring, officially, I know you're ready for greener-than-green recipes starring pungent ramps and crunchy peas and crisp spears of asparagus. I'm ready, too, but here in New England, Spring in March is more theory than reality, with snow still blanketing the garden. Nevertheless, I've got something green-ish for you, this lovely side dish of roasted cabbage with apples and pecans. I'm determined to eat more cooked cabbage this year, and roasting turns the leaves soft and sweet. Combine that with some crisp apples, not too tart, and toasted pecans, and this is a side dish that will compliment any main course protein (roasted chicken, grilled steak, baked fish). The ingredients are available year-round, and that's exactly when you should make this salad.
Roasted cabbage, apple and pecan salad with mustard vinaigrette
For the vinaigrette:
1 Tbsp cider vinegar
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp agave nectar
Pinch each of kosher salt and fresh black pepper
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
For the salad:
1/2 green cabbage, cut into large chunks
1 apple, diced (I like Macintosh)
3 Tbsp pecan halves
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
On a rimmed baking sheet, spread the cabbage chunks. Sprinkle with 1-2 teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil, and a pinch each of salt and black pepper. Toss the cabbage gently, and spread into a single layer. Roast in the oven for 15 minutes, until the cabbage is softened and beginning to brown at the edges. Remove the pan from the oven.
When cool enough to handle, transfer the cabbage to a cutting board and cut into dice. Add to a mixing bowl, along with the diced apple.
Add all of the vinaigrette ingredients into a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Shake vigorously, to emulsify the dressing. Pour as much as you need over the cabbage and apple, and toss. Allow the vegetables to sit in the dressing while you finish the pecans.
Heat a small nonstick dry frying pan over medium heat. Toast the pecans for 2-3 minutes, until they are just fragrant but not browned. Add the nuts to the cabbage, and toss.
Serve warm, at room temperature, or cold. If you like mix-ins, add some dried cranberries or goat cheese, or both.
More ways to get cooked cabbage onto your table:
Tofu stir-fry with cabbage and cashews
Teriyaki turkey meatballs with cabbage and ramen noodles
Sweet and sour beef cabbage soup
Asian turkey and cabbage empanadas with spicy dipping sauce
Polish stuffed cabbage rolls (golabki)
Other recipes that use these pantry ingredients:
Warm red cabbage slaw with apple and caraway seed, from Pinch My Salt
Braised red cabbage with chestnuts, from Simply Recipes
Braised cabbage with apples and cumin seeds, from Everybody Likes Sandwiches
Warm cabbage and apple salad, from Inspired Taste
Sautéed cabbage and sweet onions with almonds, from eCurry
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