This is one of those salads where it only takes one bite to know that you could eat the entire bowl yourself as a meal instead of sharing it between 4 as a side. Adapted from a recipe by Karen Martini, a great Australian chef.
Quite often after going to a restaurant I enjoyed I will look for a recipe to make the dishes at home. This salad is from a restaurant called Mr Wolf in Melbourne, Australia, owned by Karen Martini, a talented Australian chef. However, I have adapted it to reduce the oil to what I think is the required amount – the original recipe called for 6 tablespoons of olive oil (6!! That’s almost 1/2 cup!!) which I think is over the top. And to be honest, I don’t even recall the restaurant salad being excessively oily so I’m wondering if the recipe has a typo. I’ve also reduced the amount of parmesan from about 1/2 cup to 1/3 cup because I thought the flavour was overpowering and also found that with the reduced amount of oil, 1/2 cup of parmesan absorbed too much of the liquid leaving the salad a bit too dry.
This is one of those salads where you will do a taste test for seasoning, and think “damn that’s good”, then will sneak in another bite, then another. If you happen to be a blogger with self control issues like me you will keep nibbling away until suddenly you realise “uh oh, I’m supposed to photograph this” and you have to fish around for a smaller bowl to plate it up in. Yes, that is actually what happened when I made this. The remaining salad looked quite sparse and sad in the big salad bowl I originally had it in, so I had to put it in a smaller bowl just to photograph it.
This is really simple to make using everyday ingredients. The restaurant version uses freshly podded peas, but I usually make this with frozen peas. I love freshly podded peas, but the reality is they are about 4 times more expensive than frozen and on a normal day, I do not have the time, energy or interest to pod peas. And you know what? In this particular salad, I bet most people won’t be able to tell if you use fresh or frozen peas.
The radish is optional, I know some people don’t like radish and also it can be expensive sometimes! They add colour as well as texture and freshness to the salad. If you don’t have or don’t want to use radish, I suggest adding some thinly sliced red onion which will have a similar effect both visually and in flavour.
This salad holds up well prepared in advance. If you are making it the day before, keep the dressing and parmesan separate. You can dress it up to 4 hours ahead of serving it – any longer and the cabbage will wilt too much.
A great unique, easy restaurant quality salad to add to your sides rotation!
- 1 cup frozen peas, blanched
- 3 cups green or white cabbage, finely sliced
- ½ cup mint leaves (loosely packed)
- ½ cup parsley leaves (loosely packed)
- 4 radishes, finely sliced
- ⅓ cup parmesan
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ tsp salt
- Black pepper
- Reserve 1 tbsp of the parmesan cheese as garnish.
- Place all ingredients in a bowl and toss gently to combine.
- Allow to sit for 5 minutes to allow the cabbage to wilt slightly.
- Adjust seasoning with extra salt and pepper (if required), garnish with reserved 1 tbsp parmesan cheese and serve.
2. If you do not like or do not have radish, you can substitute with ½ a small red/spanish onion, very finely sliced (or ¼ large). The radish not only adds colour but also freshness to the salad.
3. To make ahead, keep the dressing ingredients and parmesan separate from the salad ingredients and keep refrigerated for up to 24 hours. Keep the radish under the cabbage so they don't brown.
4. The dressed salad can be made ahead up to 4 hours.
5. Adapted from a recipe from Mr Wolf restaurant in Melbourne, Australia, by Karen Martini. I reduced the quantity of oil and parmesan cheese and converted ingredient quantities into cups which I find more convenient to use.