Unfortunately, I can’t take complete credit for this one (other than the photos and clever writing). I did not contrive this lovely, fresh, crispy summer salad, but I do love it. And I love eating it the most when the weather map is all orange and red, and severe thunderstorm warnings occur with such frequency that they lose their schtick…
Yes, this type of weather (while found across the United States) screams Florida, where this little barbecue side dish was born. Deep in the Southern part of the state where the alligators rule and the retirees golf. And where an awesome (and quite hilarious) news anchor leads the team at Fox 4 News (my previous life). This particular anchorman is quite the health nut, and would never be found without a nutrient-packed snack at his desk.
Thank goodness he was willing to share this one with me, because now I can share it with you. In all its crispy, succulent, slightly sweet glory. At first glance it appears an odd combination – apples, cucumbers, cabbage, red onion – but poppy seed dressing unites them all in a bright and crunchy fashion. Much like our anchorman can unite a newsroom through healthful munchies and clever quips. My personal favorite the one where he mooed at me live on the air. But that’s another food tale for another time.
- 4 cups shredded green cabbage (sliced thin into 1-inch pieces)
- 2 apples, medium dice
- 1 cucumber, medium dice
- ½ of a small red onion, sliced thin into ¼-inch pieces, then halved
- ¼ cup poppy seed dressing (homemade or store bought, any brand)
- Kosher salt to taste
- Juice of one lemon
- Poppy Seed Dressing
- 1/3 cup lemon juice, fresh squeezed (one to three lemons)
- 2 Tbs honey
- 2/3 cup canola oil
- 1-2 tsp poppy seeds
- Kosher salt to taste
- Rinse onion with cold water to soften pungency. Prepare all other ingredients besides apple and combine in a bowl with onion slices.
- For dressing, whisk together lemon juice, honey and a few pinches of salt in a small bowl. Drizzle canola oil slowly into lemon juice mixture while whisking vigorously. Whisk in poppy seeds, and season to taste with salt. Adjust oil-to-lemon juice ratio per taste.
- Chop apples last as they will oxidize and brown, and immediately toss cubes with lemon juice.
- Add apples to salad, coat with dressing, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve chilled.