You are not getting a long story with this one, sorry. We used to make it during the summer when we moved to the dacha (summer house) where as kids we had the most fabulous time. If you wanted an apple, you climb the tree and get one. If you wanted raspberries or long dainty “lady fingers” grapes, you walk around the corner to your aunt’s dacha. Strawberries the size of peaches and peaches the size of melons were found at our other aunt and uncle’s dacha, across the street. So the gang of us cousins moved between the three dachas, eating our way through the season.
We had three blackberry trees, the white one, the pink one, and the black one (yes, there are white and pink and red blackberries!). Have no doubt that the black blackberries were the sweetest because no matter how many times we were implored to go climb the white or the pink tree, we stuck to our choice and to inky stains that would not wash out of our clothes. The sour cherry season was the highlight of the summer since making the sour cherry jam was a traditional Odessa summer endeavor. We were issued baskets and sent up the cherry trees with a mission: pick cherries for jam. Certainly, more round meaty red balls bursting with juice went into mouths than into the baskets, and some ended up hanging around the ears, but my grandmother was the first who wised up to it and offered a solution. Whoever brought down more cherries got to shoot the cherry gun! That was the little gadget that squeezed pits out of cherries, but if you aimed it right – wow!
So as soon as the apple tree was ready to give, we made this salad. You can’t find anything more simple yet full of summer goodness.
Fresh new summery cabbage, a carrot, an onion, an apple, and fresh dill. That’s all you need. Shred the cabbage, grate the carrot, dice the onion and the apple, and chop the dill. In Odessa, we added sugar to the dressing, but here I use organic agave nectar.
I take this moment to thank my husband for getting me a set of ceramic knives for Pesach. During Chol-ha-Moed, I managed to break a stainless steel pairing knife, believe it or not. My husband canvassed the city and found this beautiful set which I love so much that I have taken it for every day use, and hopefully, for next Pesach, I’ll get another one. They are light, they are extremely sharp, and they slice so thin that no food processor can match it.
At this point, I diverged from the traditional olive oil and balsamic vinegar (or lemon, if you like) and decided to experiment. I whisk agave nectar with roasted sesame oil and rice vinegar, then add salt and pepper. It offers a hint of orient and lends this simple salad a bit more sophistication.
To complete “the oriental touch,” you can sprinkle some black sesame seeds on top before serving. Fresh, colorful, and truly healthy, this salad will liven up your table.
- 1/3 head of white cabbage, finely shredded
- 1/2 cup grated carrots
- 1/2 large or 1 medium apple, peeled and finely diced
- 1/4 cup red onion, finely diced
- chopped fresh dill to taste
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon agave nectar
- 1 tablespoon roasted sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- black sesame seeds to garnish
Finely shred cabbage, grate carrot, peel and dice apple, dice onion, add dill and sesame seeds. Mix well.
To prepare dressing, whisk agave syrup or honey with sesame oil and rice vinegar, add salt and pepper.
Dress your salad, sprinkle some sesame seeds on top before serving.