Not much to improve upon here, but we can offer suggestions for prepping the salad and dressing. We tried this with other cabbage: Napa did not hold up as well when dressed, and regular green cabbage was neither as pretty nor as tender as the Savoy called for here.
Make Ahead: The walnuts can be toasted a day in advance, cooled and kept in an airtight container at room temperature. The cabbage can be sliced and placed in resealable plastic food storage bags 2 days in advance. The dressing (minus its dairy component) can be made several hours in advance and held at room temperature. The apples should be prepped just before serving. Add the creme fraiche or heavy cream to the dressing and shake to combine just before combining with the salad components.
- 1/3 cup walnut pieces
- 1 medium savoy cabbage (about 1 1/4 pounds)
- 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
- Juice from 1/2 lemon (1 tablespoon), or more as needed
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons crème fraîche or heavy cream
- 2 crisp apples, such as Fuji or Granny Smith
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Place the walnuts on a rimmed baking sheet and toast for 8 minutes, shaking once or twice, until fragrant and browned. Let them cool a bit, then coarsely chop and place in a large mixing bowl.
Discard any tough outer leaves from the cabbage, then cut the cabbage in half and core it. Cut the halves into very thin slices and add to the bowl.
Combine the vinegar, lemon juice, a pinch of salt and a few generous grinds of pepper in a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Add the oil, then seal tightly and shake to form an emulsified dressing. (At this point, the dressing can be held at room temperature.) Add the creme fraiche or heavy cream and shake to combine. Taste and adjust acidity or salt as needed.
Shortly before serving, quarter, peel and core the apples. Cut the quarters into thin slices, then into thin matchsticks. Add to the large bowl, along with all of the dressing and a pinch of salt. Toss to incorporate and coat evenly. Let sit for 5 minutes, then taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Divide among individual plates; serve immediately.
Adapted from Alice Waters's "Chez Panisse: Fruit" (Morrow, 2002).
Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.
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