Umami Recipes
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Little Gems and Cabbage with Pickled Turn and Lemony Tahini

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Ingredients

2 Persian cucumbers, thinly sliced (about 1½ cups)

2 scallions, thinly sliced

½ preserved lemon (page 27 or store-bought), finely chopped

¼ small head red cabbage, thinly sliced ¼ cup thinly sliced pickled turnips or any other pickled vegetable you fancy (see page 23)

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

2 heads Little Gem lettuce, halved lengthwise, or 1 head romaine, quartered lengthwise

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup picked tender herbs, like cilantro, parsley, and/or dill, coarsely chopped

Lemony Tahini Dressing (page 22)

Directions

1 Combine the cucumbers, scallions, preserved lemon, cabbage, turnips, and lemon juice in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper and let sit a few minutes.

2 Transfer half the cucumber mixture to a large serving platter (or divide among a few plates). Top with the lettuce, drizzle with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Top with the remaining cucumber mixture and any juices that have accumulated. Scatter the herbs over the top and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle the dressing over the salad, serving any left over alongside for more dipping/drizzling.

Notes

This salad was made during a particularly bad hunger emergency (code red) one day, sloppily cobbled together with the contents of my refrigerator, which at the time included half a head of red cabbage and an unopened jar of beet-pickled turnips. As I ate it, probably standing up at my counter, I realized why I loved it so much: it was like eating a falafel sandwich, without the falafel (or pita). It had the tangy, crunchy cabbage, plenty of herbs, and, of course, tahini.

While this would otherwise be classified as a kitchen sink kind of salad, I've now started intentionally buying those ingredients and keeping this lemon-tahini dressing on hand just so I can make a (refined version of) it at least once a week-with or without a hunger emergency.

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