Cabbage & Watercress Salad with Poppyseed “Buttermilk” Dressing

If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I’m obsessed with my yard and flower garden. I’m working  towards maaaaybe (fingers and toes crossed) getting on the garden tour next year. Yep, I’m that lady now.

This year, I decided not to grow veggies due to the fact that we have a tenacious groundhog living under the little cottage shed in our backyard. He/she eats everything—even the dahlia greens that I planted instead of veggies—and it breaks my heart every time.

So, I bought a 5 lb bag of cayenne pepper for sprinkling and that seems to be deterring our hungry friend so far. Thankfully, the Farmers’ Market in town is keeping my fridge plenty stocked with homegrown vegetables and the ritual of going every Sunday to get the goods is so lovely… I’ve found my rhythm.

I am growing some edibles though—loads of herbs (it’s so easy) in a few locations far enough away from the groundhog’s home. I love to go out and clip fresh herbs or even just rustle my hands through them, smell, and marvel at nature.

Chives are in abundance right now, and they reminded me of an Appalachian-inspired recipe I came up with a few years ago that I shared at a talk/demo at Wanderlust.

I’m enamored with Appalachia (the good and the not so good, the luscious beauty, the community, the pride, the wildness) and the more I learn about it, the more proud I am to call West Virginia home.

This salad has been on rotation at my place for a few months now. It’s simple, crunchy, fresh, creamy, and comforting. The craggles in the Napa cabbage hold perfect, smile-inducing amounts of the “buttermilk” dressing. I recommend loading up a mixing bowl and making it the main course.

Use any extra dressing on all sorts of salad greens, roasted veggies, tossed with rice… it’s also delicious remixed and loaded with fresh herbs too. Have fun.

OK. Let’s make some! And here’s a step-by-step video you can follow as well.

Start by slicing up a shallot…

Then, in a skillet heated to medium, add 1–2 teaspoons of oil and the sliced shallot. Sauté for 3–5 minutes until the shallot starts to brown. for 3–5 minutes until the shallot starts to brown. Then, add garlic and stir together 1 more minute and transfer to the blender.

Add your coconut milk to the blender and then add your soaked cashews. If you didn’t soak your cashews yet, that’s ok. Add dry ones and just run the blender longer until smoooooth.

Add the lemon juice and apple cider vinegar for that buttermilk sourness…

Add your salt and pepper too.

Looks good. Now, blend until super smooth and creamy.

After you blend, add your poppyseeds to the blender bucket…

Don’t blend them in, just stir them in—we simply add them to the bucket so we don’t have to dirty another dish!

You should have enough dressing for this salad and a few more, so transfer the dressing to an airtight container to store after you use.

Now, load up a mixing bowl with chopped cabbage…

Rough-chop some watercress and add that to the mix.

Wash and slice some radishes and toss them in the bowl…

They add such a lovely color contrast to all the shades of green…

Now, chop up some chives (yes, you can eat the blossoms)…

And add them, some fresh peas, and maybe some chopped red onion, too.

Toss all veggies with ½ cup of dressing to start, adding more until the veggies are coated nicely like a coleslaw. Season to taste with a pinch of salt, fresh-black pepper, and crushed red pepper if you like.

Enjoy.

                                                                                                 

Print Recipe
Cabbage & Watercress Salad with Creamy Poppyseed Dressing
This salad is bright, crunchy, and fresh. The craggles in the Napa cabbage hold all the comforting creaminess of the dairy-free-but-you’d-never-know-it dressing. Grab a mixing bowl and fill it up.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 5–7 minutes
Passive Time 1 hour
Servings
people
Ingredients
Poppyseed “Buttermilk” Dressing
  • Avocado oil
  • ¼ cup shallot diced or sliced
  • 1 large clove garlic halved or sliced
  • 1 cup coconut milk) full-fat canned
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar unpasteurized
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice fresh
  • ½ cup cashews soaked for 1 hour; drained and rinsed
  • ½ tsp fine ground sea salt or more to taste
  • fresh cracked black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons poppy seeds
Cabbage & Cress Salad
  • 1 bunch red radishes sliced
  • 2 small-medium Napa cabbage chopped
  • 2–3 bunches watercress roughly chopped
  • 1 bunch chives sliced into tiny rounds
  • ½ cup fresh peas
  • 1 medium red onion sliced or diced
  • Crushed red pepper optional
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 5–7 minutes
Passive Time 1 hour
Servings
people
Ingredients
Poppyseed “Buttermilk” Dressing
  • Avocado oil
  • ¼ cup shallot diced or sliced
  • 1 large clove garlic halved or sliced
  • 1 cup coconut milk) full-fat canned
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar unpasteurized
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice fresh
  • ½ cup cashews soaked for 1 hour; drained and rinsed
  • ½ tsp fine ground sea salt or more to taste
  • fresh cracked black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons poppy seeds
Cabbage & Cress Salad
  • 1 bunch red radishes sliced
  • 2 small-medium Napa cabbage chopped
  • 2–3 bunches watercress roughly chopped
  • 1 bunch chives sliced into tiny rounds
  • ½ cup fresh peas
  • 1 medium red onion sliced or diced
  • Crushed red pepper optional
Instructions
  1. In a skillet heated to medium, add 1–2 teaspoons of oil and shallot. Sauté for 3–5 minutes until the shallot starts to brown.
  2. Then, add garlic and sauté for 1 more minute and transfer all to the blender.
  3. Now, add all Dressing ingredients except poppy seeds into the blender and blend until silky smooth.
  4. Season with salt and pepper to taste, then stir (not blend) in the poppy seeds, and set aside or store in a jar.
  5. Toss all veggies into a large mixing bowl with ½ cup of dressing, adding more dressing until veggies are coated nicely like a coleslaw.
  6. Season to taste with a pinch of salt, fresh-black pepper, and crushed red pepper if you like. Enjoy.
Recipe Notes

Use any cabbage you like, or a combination of many—I choose Napa because the nooks and crannies hold so much delicious dressing

If you can’t find watercress, try a peppery green like arugula instead

This salad is also delicious with toasted sesame seeds added

For extra sour flavor (and probiotics) in your dressing, make a “buttermilk.” Cover and allow it to ferment on the counter overnight, then use and store in the fridge once blended with other ingredients

Try adding Granny Smith apple or avocado to this salad

Thanks to the heartiness of these veggies, you can store this salad in the fridge for a few days

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