The idea for this recipe came from a wonderful reader, Karen. Wilted cabbage keeps its crunch and freshness for several days, whereas a regular lettuce salad turns gross soon after being dressed. (Kale behaves similarly to cabbage—it’s one of the reasons I love the kale salad on page 31!) This salad is best if left to marinate in the tart dressing overnight. Just be sure to add the peanuts shortly before serving to prevent sogginess.
serves 4 as a side
1 medium-size cabbage, finely chopped
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 cup raw peanuts
1/2 bunch scallions, finely chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons rice vinegar or lemon juice
salt and pepper, to taste
finely chopped apple
a few drops of sesame oil
1.) Toss the cabbage and salt in a large bowl. Place something heavy, like a pot (any size that fits in the bowl), on top of the cabbage. The weight, along with the salt, will encourage the cabbage to expel its moisture. Leave it for 2 hours. This method will take away some bitterness, leaving the crunchy texture of raw cabbage.
2.) Roast the peanuts in a single layer in a skillet over medium heat, occasionally tossing them and moving them, until they are lightly brown all over, about 5 minutes. Alternatively, spread the peanuts on a baking sheet and broil them about 2 minutes. Keep an eye on them so they don’t burn. You want them nice and golden. Sprinkle a bit of salt on the roasted peanuts and set them aside.
3.) Combine the olive oil, rice vinegar, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Mix it up and taste. Adjust the salt and pepper as you like. Remember that the cabbage is already salted, so you won’t need too much salt in the dressing.
4.) Once the 2 hours have passed, toss the cabbage again with your hands. Cabbage treated in this way will last for several days. Before serving, add the scallions, peanuts, and dressing. Toss, taste, and adjust the seasoning as you see fit.
Reprinted with permission from Good and Cheap by Leanne Brown, copyright © 2015. Published by Workman Publishing. Photography credit: Leanne Brown and Dan Lazin/Good and Cheap.