Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Festive Summer Cabbage Salad

Summer isn't over until you let it be over. As long as you can manage to wear your shorts and flip flops, use your grill and eat dinner outside on the deck, summer is still around.

Even though the calendar says September, summer vegetables haven't dropped off the map. Throwing them together in a salad like this one will keep you in a summery mood for a few more weeks. I put this together when I was inspired to try fresh lima beans from the farmers market. I associate lima beans with icky, mushy frozen vegetable mixes from the grocery store. Fresh ones are much nicer. The texture is firm and pleasantly beany. I'm definitely a convert.

This salad came from my endeavor to find something to do with my lima beans. I decided to make a succotash recipe I found in my Southern Living Farmers Market Cookbook. But that salad was just lima beans and corn, and I had a lot of vegetables in my fridge that wanted to be used. So I threw in a red Hungarian pepper (my favorites!) and a tiny, baseball-sized head of red cabbage. The result was a beautiful mixture of colors and textures - the sort of dish that just makes me smile. (Note: it's best eaten as quickly as possible, because the red cabbage will start turning all of those other pretty colors purple by the next day!)

Festive Summer Cabbage Salad
Adapted from the succotash salad in the Southern Living Farmers Market Cookbook.

1 c fresh lima beans
2 ears corn
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp hot sauce
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
3 tbsp fresh chives, chopped 
1 red pepper, diced
3 cups red cabbage, chopped (from one tiny head)

Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil. Add lima beans and cook 17 minutes. Add corn to the pot and cook another 3 minutes, until corn is heated and beans are tender. Remove the corn, drain the beans and rinse under cold water (to stop the cooking).

In a large bowl, whisk together oil, lemon juice, hot sauce, salt and pepper. Slice the corn kernels off the cobs and add them to the bowl with the beans, chives, peppers and cabbage. Toss well to combine and coat everything with some dressing. Serve room temperature or chilled.

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