Friday, August 09, 2013
Tonight's Dinner Starring…
From the photo above you probably think I'm going to be raving about the crazy good salmon cakes pictured, how Dave had roasted a whole salmon the other night and we had enough left over to make something for dinner the next night. And how I then looked up a friend's recipe for Thai-ish crab cakes, switched out the crab for salmon and, voilà, dinner!
All that would be true enough.
And the winner is…
But what I'm really excited about is that pile of cabbage, apple, carrots, cilantro and red onion sitting innocuously to the side, slightly out of focus, the quiet bit player in this dinner's production that will, by the end of the evening, steal our hearts. (I could start naming off my favorite character actors, but that would take this whole post sideways…maybe another time.)
It's hinted at it in the aforementioned crab cakes recipe, something thrown together from bits of this and that. But I'm telling you that this is much more than a melange of ingredients foraged from the bottom of the vegetable bin. It's a masterful blending of flavors, colors and textures, seasoned with experience and brought together in a performance that will not only win your heart but maybe walk off with an Oscar for best salad in a supporting role.
Asian-Inflected Napa Cabbage Slaw
1 head Napa cabbage
1/2 red onion
1 tart apple, like Granny Smith
1 large carrot or three smaller carrots in various colors
1/2 bunch cilantro
Juice of 2 limes
1 tsp. Thai fish sauce
1 tsp. sugar
Quarter cabbage and core, then slice crosswise into chiffonade and put in large salad bowl. Slice half onion in half lengthwise, then slice crosswise into thin slices and add to cabbage. Grate apple and carrots. Roughly chop cilantro and add to other ingredients, then add lime juice, fish sauce and sugar. Toss, then taste for seasonings and adjust as needed.