Friday, September 04, 2009

Eating those edible borders: fresh cabbage salad

With the demise of our front shrubs at the hands of last winter's Snowpocalypse, we've filled the front gardens with edibles of all kinds. You've seen them here in the photos of the edible front border.

Edible border

A blog visitor recently noted it looked like we weren't eating our edible border. Alas, I was just recirculating that earlier photo, but rest assured, we're eating that border. (And trading it for eggs, too.) It's just not as pretty for photos as it gets eaten! I'm thinking of replanting the cabbage with starts now in hopes they'll continue into the Fall and Winter. But here's a photo from a recent harvest:

harvesting the edible border

I've come to love cabbage, and that's good, because that entire front edge is cabbage. My favorite way to eat it? Simple, fresh, lightly dressed and served as a big delicious salad. And oh the beauty.

the new cabbage salad: don't say coleslaw

It's a sturdier salad and holds up in the fridge for a few days, even growing better in flavor on day 2 and 3. I like to make a big bowl of this and munch on it in the afternoons when I need something crunchy, and a big pile on a dinner plate is a great side. As for a take-along to picnics or parties? It's the best for summertime: no mayo or dairy makes it an easy and safe bet. And the best part? Using as much as you can from your garden. I freeform this salad, meaning I make itup as I go along, with what I have, what's in season, and white kinds of flavors I'm looking for.

Here are a few scenarios of it I like...

Red Cabbage+Shredded Carrots+Green Onions+Parsley
Green Cabbage+Shredded Carrots+Red Onions (sliced paper thin)+Cilantro

This salad is all about your knife skills or how you rock that food processor. For the cabbage, I use a serrated knife and slice nice thin pieces, then cut them to bite size. My goal is to make all of the vegetables about the same size so they're easy to pick up with your fork. I like to run the carrots through the slicing blade on the food processor, but this would also be a great salad to rock with a mandolin.

You can add thin slices of red bell peppers if you like, and add ground coriander and cumin to the olive oil and vinegar dressing. For the dressing, emulsify (shake in a jar) 1 part vinegar (red wine or apple cider are both great, try rice vinegar if you're going more for asian flavors) to 3 parts olive oil. Squeeze with a fresh lime for a great bright taste.

Toasted sesame seeds are a nice addition if you want to add some jazz hands to your salad. Or should I say spirit fingers? Either way, I'm a convert to this simplified cabbage slaw. You can erase the horrible memories of coleslaw with mayo from your minds forever now.

Better living through cabbage.

big cabbage!


chook said...

my chickens would just love to get their beaks around those big old tough outer cabbage leaves.

nom nom nom.

Johnice said...

So jealous of your cabbage savvy! I've tried cabbage 2 times and both times they looks like they were about to have a growth spurt and just pooted out. Maybe again sometime soon.

A Lewis said...

Exactly, precisely, the food I'd choose from the deli counter -- or at your house for a potluck! I may even toss in a little radish. Delicious!

Rozanne said...

I actually have some cabbages ready for harvest. Not quite as lusciously huge as yours but then mine didn't have the zoo doo advantage.

Love your recipe suggestion!

And that last photo of Adri casting a sidelong glance at the cabbage is great.

Anonymous said...

That border is beautiful. Nice job joining function and beauty.

Zupan's Markets said...

Oh yes! Cabbage salad sounds perfect for a picnic basket! That cilantro option sounds divine.

P.S. Congrats on a successful pie-off. So much fun!

Best Wishes, Marie said...

thanks. love love love the blog !!!

Anonymous said...

The cabbage border looks so good that I actually just finished incorporating one into next years garden plans!