A lively chicken and cabbage salad will get your body buzzing, in a good way. But to be fair, this piece is really about dessert cleverly disguised as salad.
After a supper of salad a person feels so healthy and smug. For me this momentary self-righteousness invariably leads to dessert, but I know myself and plan accordingly. I make dessert, maybe rhubarb crisp or chocolate pudding. I realize that chocolate pudding is a flash from the past, memories of grade school cafeteria lunches and Bill Cosby commercials and maybe you think chocolate shouldn’t be gelatinous (as I did). In February I made this pudding and it was so good I wrote about it. If you can manage without dessert, then fine, pass me your serving, and thanks.
Chicken and cabbage salad with its additional array of seasonal veggies is a substantial plateful and is all that’s needed for supper. Many of its ingredients can be found at local Farmers Markets which are now in full spring swing.
Crunchy Chicken & Cabbage Salad with Sweet & Sour Dressing
This is enough for three or four servings. The base is end-of-season cabbage topped with whatever seasonal, mostly local Ingredients you can find. Start with 3 – 4 C shredded chicken and set aside. Mix together 6 – 7 cups shredded cabbage, kohlrabi, *celeriac or any combination of these; spinach or wild greens would give it a different character, but would be delicious. Pile on any other vegetables or herbs you like: snow peas, thinly sliced radishes, carrots, scallions, chives, asparagus (slightly steamed or roasted), broccoli, brassicas, their flowers and stems, Wasabi crackers on the side or crumbled on top, all are tasty additions.
Toss everything together with the sweet and sour dressing, top with toasted sesame seeds, cashews, chives or shallots. Let the hum begin, our bodies love this stuff.
And then, if it’s not snowing, sit outside with this and pretend it’s spring. It looks like spring, smells like spring, fresh bouquets of color and fragrance, bees pollinating and so much more light. Chilly it may be, but salad with fresh seasonal ingredients signifies the season and is a harbinger of the bounty to come.
*Celeriac (celery root) is that scruffy looking root vegetable I’ve always wondered what to do with. Now that I’ve taken a closer look I think it’s a beautiful plant, and as its name implies tastes a lot like celery. Peel it and grate or slice finely into a slaw. It can also be cooked and made into soups, purees, gratins, and can be stored for months at cool temperatures.