Awesome Nappa Cabbage Salad

NappaPhoto by Alice Pasqual on Unsplash

I’ve never cared for cooked Nappa cabbage, although I use it in cole slaw and Spring rolls.  This salad is awesome and the cabbage is softened a bit by salting and rubbing it.  It’s a great combination of textures and tastes.

Rubbing the cabbage with salt not only seasons it, but also softens the leaves. Pistachios tossed with orange zest and sugar bring an unexpected floral note to the dish. This recipe is from Drifters Wife in Portland, ME.

1 28-oz. Napa cabbage, tough outer leaves removed, halved, leaves torn into 3″–4″ pieces
1½ tsp. flaky sea salt, plus more
½ cup coarsely chopped raw pistachios
1 tsp. plus 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil; plus more for drizzling
½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper, plus more
1 sprig thyme or use dried powdered thyme
½ tsp. finely grated orange zest
½ tsp. sugar
2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
2 tsp. honey, preferably wildflower
1 cup parsley leaves with tender stems
1 Tbsp. thinly sliced chives
3 oz. Parmesan, shaved, plus more for serving- I use Soy Parmesan

  • Preheat oven to 350°. Place cabbage in a large bowl and sprinkle with 1½ tsp. salt. Toss, massaging with your hands, to soften a bit; set aside.

  • Toss pistachios and 1 tsp. oil on a rimmed baking sheet; season with salt and pepper. Roast, tossing once, until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl. Add thyme, orange zest, and sugar and toss to combine. Let cool; discard thyme sprigs.

  • Whisk vinegar, honey, and ½ tsp. pepper in a small bowl to combine; season with a pinch of salt. Drizzle over cabbage and add parsley, chives, 3 oz. Parmesan, ¼ cup pistachios, and 2 Tbsp. oil. Toss to combine, then taste and season with more salt and pepper if needed.

  • Transfer cabbage salad to a platter and top with more Parmesan and remaining pistachios. Season with pepper and drizzle with some more oil.

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