24 September 2007
Figs are not always the correct answer.
In this case we take figs and combine them with unsalted red cabbage. The unsalted was a mistake here, I think, because if you were to apply salt to the cabbage and macerate it as in the self-dressing salad, then said cabbage would get slightly limp and chewy as opposed to crisp. This would work much better with the other main ingredient: figs. On the other hand it doesn't seem like salt and figs are friends. There was just something off about the whole thing. I'm going to have to experiment.
Anyway, here's what I did. It wasn't really terrible, but it wasn't a success.
orange zest and juice
I chopped up the cabbage and the fig, then tossed them with fine bits of orange zest. Actually it was tangerine zest, since that's what we had. The tangerines incidentally are the best tangerines I've ever had. They're apparently called murcotts. They're also unfortunately an import, but are so good I keep buying them anyway. Well, it won't be much longer until the actual california citrus season. Anyway. So I added zest and squeezed some orange juice over the whole business as well. then I peppered. Ordinarily the pepper works really well with figs, but in this combination it just was not the correct idea.
Then I ate it, and was fine but nonplussed. I mean, everything was individually good. They just didn't play well together.
- salt the cabbage
- take out the pepper
- lemon juice instead of the orange
- freaking nut and seed element
- maybe actually wilting the cabbage in a pan?
That's interesting. Making this warm might definitely have some good effects. Then I could do things like make a honey-lemon dressing in the pan, and get the cabbage and fig to absorb it there. It would make the texture of the whole business way more collapsedy as well. The whole cabbage braised in red wine thing would be interesting to try as well.
There's also always the "take out the damn cabbage" idea. It might be better to do something with wilted spinach or another sweeter green instead. One of the big problems with my version was that you could taste the cabbage backbite, and it clashed with the fig, so using another green would probably help a lot. It would just end up being a really different result.