Wednesday, November 15, 2006

I think you're beautiful: autumnal cabbage salad

On Monday night K. and I took my Edinburgh friends Emma and Michael, and my cousin Ingrid for a meal in Olde Hansa, a fabulously cosy and atmospheric Medieval restaurant right in the centre of Tallinn's Old Town. The meal isn't really the right word - it was more of a feast. You see, Olde Hansa aims to imitate a rich Hanseatic merchant's house, so the portions are huge, generously seasoned and substantial; just as importantly, their light cinnamon, dark herbal and dark honey beers extremely drinkable. By the end of the meal we were absolutely stuffed, unable even to think about the dessert menu*. As Emma & Michael popped over to Helsinki for a night yesterday, K. and I wanted a light and simple dinner, to counteract the indulgent medieval feast from the night before.

Salads are handy for moments like that, so I made a salad from organic red cabbage, crisp and fresh, that I had bought from a small organic food store on Sunday. Red cabbage is such a visually beautiful vegetable, and went well with sweet and juicy pineapple and crumbly cottage cheese. The resulting salad was tasty, light and healthy, and oh-so-pretty - a perfect partner to crusty rye bread.
A keeper.

Red cabbage salad with cottage cheese and pineapple chunks
(Punase kapsa, ananassi ja kodujuustu salat)
Serves 2-3 as a light meal or more as a side dish

one small red cabbage, thinly sliced
200 grams cottage cheese
one small can of pineapple chunks in pineapple juice, drained (but keep the juice)
lots of chopped fresh parsley
Maldon sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

Cut the cabbage into thin slices (I guess a kitchen Mandolin would speed up this process).
Mix the cabbage, drained pineapple chunks and cottage cheese in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper, mix in chopped parsley.
Moisten with some pineapple juice, if necessary (if your cottage cheese is moist, this might not be needed).

* I didn't even buy a packet of their spicy sugared almonds on the way out - that's how full I was!


Pene said...

Cottage cheese mixed with crushed pineapple has always been a favourite summer side-dish for me.

Kalyn Denny said...

I love the sound of this! A lovely combination of sweet and savory tastes.

Anonymous said...

Your salad looks divine Pille. Love red cabbage, and just do not eat it often enough!

Anonymous said...

You know I just love cabbage and I only wish that more people would eat it! Love the salad!

Anonymous said...

Forget the salad, we want the feast! I wanna go there!

Anonymous said...

I ate a big meal at Olde hansa as I visited Estonia early september this year ... I think that the food there was spectacular and interesting even though I think the best part of the visit was the atmospere at Olde Hansa ... very autentic ... cosy with all the candles burning and the musicians playing and the way the staff was clothed.

That visit goes on my Estonian top-list along with "Kalev" white chocolate and blueberries and the chocolaterie (was it Pierre something?) located in old part of the town.


Jeanne said...

I don't know why people have such strong feelings about cabbage - usually negative! I adore it especially crunchy raw cabbage. I often do a "lazy" salad of white cabbage, thinly sliced carrot and spring onions, with a light vinaigrette dressing. Yummy!

Anonymous said...

I'm adding this to my list of recipes to try. I love all the ingredients. Thanks, Pille!


Hugo said...

Tegin selle salati täna - see oli tõesti nami-nami!

Spinning Girl said...

I ate at Olde Hansa. I had the wild boar.

thepassionatecook said...

wow - very nice! would never have thought of eating red cabbage raw! the addition of pineapple sounds divine - a bit of a twist from the traditional pairing with orange!

Pille said...

Pene - that was a novel combination for me until now. They do sell ready-mixed cottage cheese with pineapple chunks in the UK, and it always amused me:)

Kalyn - indeed!

Bea - same here. I guess I'll focus mainly on sauerkraut during winter, and then rekindle my relationship with cabbage next spring.

Ivonne - thanks!

Roxy - well, Olde Hansa is on the itinerary of any friend who visits me, so you know what to do:)

Anonymous - they didn't have musicians that night, sadly, but I've seen them before (and I've got their CD). I also love Kalev's white chocolate with blueberries, and I wrote about Chocolaterie here - a truly enchanted place, isn't it?

Jeanne - I must try your cabbage salad soon. Cabbage is a very humble vegetable, which may explain it's low (though undeserved!) reputation maybe?

Paz - I'm pleased to hear that!

Hugo - tore kuulda:)

Spinning Girl - way to go, girl!!

Johanna - I haven't had the traditional pairing with orange yet, so there's something for me to try:)