Cabbage and Leek Salad...with Almonds. This is a really, really simple salad...and actually quite good for you:). I love using fresh leeks in salads, and this is a great way to use up the green part of the leek. Most recipes require you to use the white part of the leek and usually not the green. I remember earlier on when I first got married and was on my own...trying out new recipes. Some of them were recipes that I had seen my mom cooking at home. Recipes that weren't exactly written down. I would try my best to duplicate them...admittedly, sometimes I failed. But I would make a point to ask my mom for advise....she would always offer ideas and tips and let me know where I went wrong with a particular recipe. My mom was so creative when it came to using vegetables....especially since she grew most of them in her own garden. Her tomatoes were the best...so full of flavor, and they didn't taste anything like the store-bought version. She also had leeks growing in her garden, and when I lived close by, she would often give me a bundle or two....they weren't exactly the easiest to clean, but I liked to cut the green parts from the white part and stored them separately. It was easier to use that way. Sometimes I ran out of ideas on how to use the the leeks, but I remember my mom telling me to use the green part of the leek in salads. She always said it was best to eat any vegetable raw...well, most of them anyway:). Freshly picked if possible. In any case, I've been using leaks in my salads for quite a while now and just love it....
From time to time, I like to make the traditional Romanian cabbage salad...that's simply seasoned with oil, vinegar, salt and pepper... sometimes with dill. It's a great salad during the winter months, but I tend to make it all year long. This past week, I decided to vary the original salad by spicing it up a bit with some red jalapeno and added some un-toasted, raw almond slivers. I normally like to toast my almonds, but this time I was in the mood for a "raw" type of salad:). Since the green part of the leek has more of a bite to it, I think it pairs quite well with the cabbage. I like to sort of mix the cabbage with my hands for a minute or so... squeezing and pressing it down so that the cabbage can soften a bit. I will then add the rest of the ingredients.
You can definitely add your own variation to this salad.... toast the almonds, add some sesame seeds, a bit of sesame oil, etc. Feel free to adjust seasoning as well. I always taste and adjust to my preference, so the oil and vinegar amounts are just a guide. Always start with the smallest amount and go from there. However, I do find that cabbage salads generally take a bit more vinegar than normal leafy salads.
My husband and I loved this salad so much, that I decided to post it:). I am not sure if any of you remember the Chinese chicken salad that was quite popular in the 90's( at least that is when I was made of aware of it:))...the one that used the Ramen noodle soup packets along with the noodles that were toasted. This sort of reminded me of that version... except a bit healthier:). Hope you enjoy...
NOTE: You can make a meal out of this....simply add some cooked chicken breast.
You will need:
1/2 cabbage, finely shredded
2 leek leaves(the green part)
1 red jalapeno, seeds and veins removed( you can substitute it with a sweet red pepper)
salt to taste
2-3 TBS extra virgin olive oil
2-4 TBS apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup slivered almonds( you can toast them if you like)
a pinch of sugar(optional)
* variation...you can add a bit of sesame oil and sesame seeds, use rice wine vinegar.... You can also substitute the leek with green onion.
1. Julienne the cabbage, leeks and pepper.
2. Mix together with hands so that the cabbage softens a bit...do this for about a minute or so. The more you mix, the softer the cabbage.
3. Add oil, vinegar and salt....pepper if you like.
4. Taste and adjust seasoning. I find the cabbage tends to ask for a bit more vinegar than normal salads.
5. Mix in almonds.
Tip: You can make the salad ahead of time and refrigerate it...add the almonds right before serving.