I had some cabbage leftover from the shrimp tostadas and I was absolutely determined to use it. See, I have a problem with letting cabbage fester and go bad in the bottom drawer of my fridge. I know it's cheap, but I just feel like the vegetable deserves a little more love. Unfortunately, so many recipes for red cabbage call for it to be braised, which didn't sound that appealing in this humid Chicago summer. I wanted to find a recipe that was crisp and bright—something that would make for a lively light dinner, but not bore me to tears.
This recipe for red and Napa cabbage salad with Braeburn apples and spiced pecans from Bon Appétit fits the bill in pretty much every respect. The Braeburn apples and dried cherries offer a tart retort to the spicy and buttery pecans, and the cabbage soaks up the slightly sweet dressing, providing a great crunchy base for it all. The hardest part is cooking the pecans, which require you to actually pay attention to them. My first batch burned while I was cutting the vegetables. I'd suggest devoting yourself to the pecans before you mess with anything else. This all makes for a fairly light dinner, but some cheese and bread would bulk this out nicely.
- Yield:2 to 3
- 1 teaspoon butter
- 1/2 cup pecan halves
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1/2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- Small pinch of cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon seasoned rice vinegar
- 1/2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium Braeburn or Fuji apple, quartered, core removed, and thinly sliced crosswise
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 3 cups red cabbage, thinly sliced
- 2 1/2 ounces dried tart cherries
Add the butter to a nonstick skillet set over medium-high heat. Toss in the pecans and cook for 1 minute, stirring occasionally. Turn heat to medium, and then dump in the brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, and the cayenne. Stir occasionally, and cook for another minute. Then transfer to a foil lined sheet and let cool.
Whisk together the rice vinegar, apple cider vinegar, and mustard in bowl. Slowly whisk in the oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Mix the sliced apples with the lemon juice in a large bowl. Add the cabbage, dried cherries, and the dressing. Toss well. Serve with the pecans and season with more salt and pepper to taste.