Cabbage with Tabil and Preserved Lemon, Tunisian-Style

comments (0) October 12th, 2012

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cookinwithherbs susan belsinger, contributor
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Moroccan bisteeya (filo-type dough filled with chicken, eggs, almonds and spices) is lovely served with this cabbage salad, carrot and beet salads and of course, a few olives.Click To Enlarge

Moroccan bisteeya (filo-type dough filled with chicken, eggs, almonds and spices) is lovely served with this cabbage salad, carrot and beet salads and of course, a few olives.

Photo: Sherri McCalla

Ingredients:
Serves 6 to 8

1 small head cabbage, tough core removed, thinly sliced, slices halved
2 cups water
Salt
1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/2 to tablespoons apple cider vinegar
3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
About 1 teaspoon tabil
About 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 finely diced preserved lemon or 1 generous teaspoon lemon zest and 1 tablespoon lemon juice

This recipe is like a slaw except that the cabbage is blanched very briefly rather than being raw. It makes a tasty, textured salad, which absorbs the Tunisian flavors, which we added in the tabil spice blend and the preserved lemon. I like to add a little harissa sometimes. My friend and colleague, Jessica Sterlin, who is chef at the Skillet Restaurant, and I created this recipe together. If you don't have the salt-cured preserved lemon, use some lemon zest. Tabil is a Tunisian table condiment combining coriander seed, caraway, ground chiles and garlic.

Bring the water to a boil, add the salt, then add the cabbage and blanch for about 15 to 20 seconds. Remove immediately from the heat, drain and run briefly run under cold water to stop cooking.

Transfer the cabbage to a bowl. In a small bowl, combine the oil, vinegar, tabil, black pepper, salt and lemon, stir well to mix. Pour the dressing over the cabbage and toss well. Let stand for at least 30 minutes before serving or up to a few hours. Taste before serving at room temperature.

 


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