Charred Cabbage Salad with Pecan Dukkah and Chile-Lime Butter

Nick Cobarruvias draws on his Mexican heritage for his menu at San Francisco's Otra, layering complex flavor combinations into dishes like this crisp-tender cabbage salad. At the restaurant, he seasons the charred cabbage with the chile-lime butter, which is mildly spicy from árbol chiles and bright from lime zest. The pecan dukkah adds earthiness from the cumin and pops of citrus from the coriander, plus a lovely nutty flavor and texture from the toasted pecans and sesame seeds.

charred cabbage salad
Photo: Photo by Antonis Achilleos / Food Styling by Ruth Blackburn / Prop Styling by Claire Spollen
Active Time:
45 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs
Servings:
4

Ingredients

Pecan Dukkah

  • ½ cup pecan halves

  • ¼ cup white sesame seeds

  • 1 ½ teaspoons coriander seeds

  • ¾ teaspoon cumin seeds

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • ½ teaspoon Aleppo pepper

Chile-Lime Butter

  • 5 medium (1/10 oz. total) de árbol chiles, toasted 

  • ¼ teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened

  • 2 teaspoons grated lime zest plus 1 1/2 Tablespoons fresh juice (from 1 lime)

  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt

  • 1 medium garlic clove, grated (1/4 tsp.)

  • ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika

  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper

 Charred Cabbage Salad

  • 2 tablespoons Chile-Lime Butter, softened

  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice (from 1 lime)

  • 1 small (2 lb.) savoy cabbage, halved lengthwise, cored, and leaves separated

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste

  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper, plus more to taste

  • 1 tablespoon Pecan Dukkah

  • 2 tablespoons roughly chopped mixed fresh herbs (such as dill, chives, mint, cilantro, and chervil)

Directions

Prepare the Pecan Dukkah:

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Spread pecans, sesame seeds, coriander seeds, and cumin seeds on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake in a preheated oven until lightly toasted and fragrant, 9 to 10 minutes. Let cool completely, about 15 minutes. Transfer mixture to a food processor; pulse until pecans are finely chopped, 8 to 10 pulses. Transfer to a small bowl; stir in salt and Aleppo. Store in an airtight container at room temperature up to 3 weeks.

Prepare the Chile-Lime Butter:

  1. Place chiles and cumin seeds in a spice grinder; process until mixture resembles a fine powder, about 30 seconds. Transfer to bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment; add butter, lime zest and juice, salt, garlic, smoked paprika, and black pepper. Beat mixture on medium-high speed until butter is light and creamy, 1 minute to 1 minute, 30 seconds. Transfer to an airtight container; store in refrigerator up to 2 weeks.3.

Prepare the Charred Cabbage Salad:

  1. Place Chile-Lime Butter and lime juice in a large bowl, and set aside. Preheat grill to high (450°F to 500°F). Toss together cabbage leaves, oil, salt, and black pepper in a separate large bowl until leaves are evenly coated. Working in batches if needed, arrange leaves on oiled grates; grill, uncovered and flipping often, until leaves are charred in spots, 2 to 5 minutes . Do not let leaves catch on fire; flip leaves often and rotate leaves over grill as needed. Add charred leaves to Chile-Lime Butter mixture in large bowl; gently toss until butter is melted and leaves are evenly coated, about 1 minute. Season with additional salt and black pepper to taste. Transfer leaves to a large plate; sprinkle with Pecan Dukkah and fresh herbs. Serve warm.

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