I love fresh cabbage salads. They are so crunchy and hearty, and they hold up so well to being dressed in advance. No worries about wilting lettuce. This is really handy when you are entertaining. Rather than going through a lot of last minute fuss, just toss the salad in advance, cover it, and stick it in the refrigerator to serve later. It will stay fresh for at least a day.... even if you forget the salad and discover it in the refrigerator after your guests leave, which has never, ahem, happened in my house.
The apple in this salad provides and extra crunch and sweetness, the perfect balance to the lemony dressing. The slices are tossed in fresh lemon juice prior to assembling the salad, which prevents them from turning brown.
This salad is a great side dish for any meat, fish, or poultry. It's also great as a light meal, especially after a calorie laden holiday.
I used a v-slicer to get really thin and even slices of apple and fennel. I left the peel on the apple, but you can remove it if you like. I toasted my pecan pieces in the toaster oven, but you can also toast them in a sauté pan. Toast them until they are just fragrant. Watch them closely, because they can turn black pretty quickly.
I love the all green look of this salad. If you'd like to add another color, just use a combination of green and red cabbage, or use a tart reddish skinned apple such as a Fuji or Braeburn.
Green Cabbage, Apple, Fennel, Watercress, and Pecan SaladAdapted from Fine Cooking
3 Tbsp lemon juice, divided
1 Tbsp grated lemon zest
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 green apple, cored, quartered, and thinly sliced
6 cups (about 1/2 medium) cored, quartered, and thinly sliced green cabbage
1 medium fennel bulb, halved, cored, and thinly sliced
3 ounces of watercress, trimmed from stems and cut into bite sized pieces
1/3 cup chopped toasted pecans
- Mix 2 tablespoons of the lemon juice with the lemon zest, mustard, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper. Drizzle in the olive oil while whisking to emulsify. Alternatively, add all of the ingredients to a jar, and shake briskly to emulsify.
- Toss the apple slices in one tablespoon of lemon juice. Set aside.
- Add the cabbage, fennel, and watercress to a large serving bowl and toss. Add the apples.
- Pour the dressing (plus salt and pepper to taste) over the salad and toss. Sprinkle with the pecans and serve.