Napa Cabbage, Ham, and Apple Salad
- SERVINGS: 4
Mild Napa cabbage is the ideal foil for the crisp, sweet apple and smoky ham. Make sure to use a ham of excellent quality or, if you prefer, substitute smoked turkey or chicken.
- 16 to 20 thin slices cut from a narrow baguette
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 cup walnut pieces
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoons grainy mustard
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1/4 cup dried currants
- 1 Red Delicious apple
- 1 1/2 pounds Napa cabbage—quartered lengthwise, cored and coarsely chopped
- 3/4 pound smoked ham, cut into 1-by- 1/4 -inch strips
- 1 medium red onion, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
- 2 teaspoons caraway seeds
- Preheat the oven to 375°. Lightly brush one side of each slice of bread with the olive oil and sprinkle with the Parmesan. Bake for about 10 minutes, or until lightly browned.
- Spread the walnuts in a small pan and bake for 4 to 5 minutes, or until fragrant and lightly toasted. In a small bowl, whisk the oil with 1/4 cup of the vinegar, the mustard and 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Stir in the currants and set the dressing aside.
- Quarter and core the apple; thinly slice the quarters crosswise. Toss the apple with the remaining 1 teaspoon vinegar to prevent discoloring.
- In a large bowl, toss together the cabbage, ham, onion, apple and caraway seeds. Whisk the dressing, then pour it over the salad and toss thoroughly. Serve at once on large plates, with the Parmesan croûtes on the side.
A salty ham, sweet apples, rich walnuts, and pungent onions can be matched successfully with a variety of winesbut not necessarily with the same ones. The overt fruitiness of a California Pinot Noir will tie these tastes together. Serve the wine cool to accentuate its cherrylike tartness.