It’s getting hot. Too hot to run to Crossfit class for an obscene number of wall balls, and run home. On the other hand, the heat is perfect for a nice cool salad! Normally, I would just dump leftover meat on a handful of spring leaves and call it a lunch, but today I want something a little more special and with different leaves than my usual spring mix.
I’ll give cabbage a try, but I never liked the taste of raw cabbage. It seemed more bitter and more “rough” than when steamed to softness. On the other hand, crunchy vegetables are preferred for salads, as few would like to eat soggy leaves. The happy medium is a technique called “blanching.” Chopped cabbage is briefly steamed, drowned in boiling water, and quenched in an ice bath. The process relieves the cabbage of bitterness and the sweetness and green color are amplified.
The dressing is prepared with cashew butter, coconut aminos, and full fat coconut milk, in even ratios, with a small bit of grated ginger. Coconut aminos are the Paleo version of soy sauce and can be found in Whole Foods or online. It is sweeter than soy sauce, with far less sodium. Alternatively, the dressing can be prepared with traditional soy sauce, however in a far less amount due to the high sodium content, balanced with extra coconut milk.
I used savoy cabbage because I love its deep green color and ripply patterns. Napa, Chinese, and green cabbages should also do fine. The cabbage leaves are cut around the stems and chopped further into bite sizes. The leaves are steamed for 2 minutes and then drowned in the boiling water for 30 seconds. They are immediately drained, and quenched in an ice bath to stop further cooking.
The cabbage texture is softened but still crunchy enough for salad. In fact, the texture is close to baby romaine leaves and pairs very well! I chose baby red romaine lettuce to give the plate a contrast in color. It is also very mild in flavor and won’t distract from the cabbage and dressing. Grated carrots and bean sprouts are added into the mix and tossed with the dressing. Ripe mango pieces give the plate a nice pop of yellow and fruity flavor.
- 2 cups Chopped Savoy Cabbage Leaves
- 2 cups Red Romaine Lettuce
- 1 Large Grated Carrot
- ½ cup Bean Sprouts
- ½ cup Fresh Mango Cubes
- Chopped Cashews for garnish
- 2 Tablespoons Cashew Butter
- 2 Tablespoons Coconut Aminos
- 2 Tablespoons Full Fat Coconut Milk
- ½ teaspoon Grated Ginger
- Assemble your steamer and bring about 2 cups water to a boil.
- Steam the cabbage leaves for 2 minutes covered.
- After steaming, immediately drop the leaves into the boiling water and soak for 30 seconds.
- Drain the hot water and quench the cabbage in an ice bath to stop the cooking. Let rest for about a minute until cabbage is cold.
- Drain the cabbage and dry with a salad spinner or paper towels.
- Toss the cabbage with the lettuce, carrot, sprouts, and Cashew Ginger dressing
- Garnish with mango and cashews.
- Vigorously mix all ingredients together until smooth and creamy.
- Toss with salad or drizzle on top.