Winter cabbage salad with flame roasted peppers
Serves 1 as a main or two as a starter
The powerful flavours of this light winter salad are ideal for the post Christmas period, when you’ve finally become tired of festive indulgence and yearn for something a little healthier. The gentle heat of the garlic in the dressing should help to banish any remnants of a New Year’s Eve hangover and the sweet and smoky flavour of the flame roasted peppers helps to bring out the iron flavour of the often overlooked savoy cabbage.
With the cabbage being raw, the salad has a wonderful hearty crunch, which offsets the softness of the roasted pepper and means the dish is satisfying enough to be meal without the addition of any bread, or dreaded Christmas leftovers.
A red capsicum or bell pepper
a small garlic clove
a tablespoon of white wine vinegar
two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
six savoy cabbage leaves
You can buy jars of roasted red peppers but it’s ludicrously simple to make them yourself, especially if you have gas hob or a griddle. If you are using a hob to char the pepper, turn the heat to high and place the pepper directly onto the naked flame. Rotate it once it’s skin has become blackened and crispy and roast until black all over. Don’t worry about cracking noises as these are a sign that the skin is charring nicely. If you are using a griddle, preheat it for a few minutes and then scorch the pepper on the hot griddle, again keeping a close eye on it and rotating regularly to ensure the skin is blackened all over.
Next, take the blackened pepper off the heat, place into a bowl and cover with cling film. This will create steam which will soften the flame roasted skin of the pepper, allowing you easily remove most of it, whilst still retaining the smoky flavour. Allow the pepper to sit covered for five minutes or so before rubbing away the skin.
To make the dressing, finely mince the garlic and mix together with the vinegar, olive oil and a little salt and pepper. The generous amount of garlic gives the dressing a heat which balances the sweetness of the smoky charred pepper but feel free to add a little less or more depending on your taste. You could also replace the minced garlic with a small chilli, flame roasted like the capsicum, deseeded and cut into strips.
Cut the cabbage into thin ribbons, place into a bowl, pour over the dressing and toss together, ensuring each thin strand of cabbage is coated in the dressing. Remove the seeds and membrane from the pepper and cut into thin strips, add into the salad and give everything a final mix.