The dish is designed to be part of a banquet or shared meal.
- 1 large red onion, thinly sliced
- 1½ tsp white sugar
- ¼ head Chinese cabbage (wombok), finely shredded
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced
- ⅓ cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
- 50 g hard cheese (such as aged Gruyère, parmesan or pecorino), finely shaved
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp walnut oil (see Note)
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Sitting time 30 minutes
I use salt and sugar to soften the texture and heat of the onion, and the flavour of the fennel. For the cabbage, a little time with salt and lemon juice helps to create a soft salad that has just a little resilience in the fatter bits of cabbage. You could toss walnuts through at the end to make this more of a complete meal.
Toss onion with ½ tsp salt and ½ tsp sugar in a small bowl.
In a separate bowl, toss the cabbage with lemon juice and ½ tsp salt. In a third bowl, gently toss the fennel with 1 tsp salt and remaining 1 tsp sugar. Set all vegetables aside for 30 minutes.
When onion is ready, give it a quick rinse and drain well. Drain the fennel, squeezing gently to remove excess liquid.
Using your fingertips, toss cabbage, onion, fennel and parsley in a large bowl until combined. Add cheese and oils, and toss just enough to combine. Serve salad immediately.
• Walnut oil is available from delis and health and specialist food shops.
As seen in Feast Magazine, Issue 17, pg40.
Photography by Alan Benson