Spontaneous Salad

Daniel Patterson's market find
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After a particularly busy week at Bay Area chef Daniel Patterson's new restaurant, Plum, the kitchen ran out of salad--and it was only Friday. So Patterson dashed to an Oakland market and found a replacement: cabbage and fragrant Asian herbs. He hauled them back to the restaurant and paired them with pomegranate seeds, Asian pear and a vibrant lime-chile vinaigrette, and this salad was born. Patterson imparts a subtly smoky character to the cabbage by charring it over a grill. Cooks in colder climes will have good results cooking the cabbage indoors in a trusty cast-iron skillet.

Stir-Fry Salad

Recipe adapted from Daniel Patterson, Plum, Oakland

Yield: 4 servings



1 small red cabbage (about ½ pound), quartered

1 small green cabbage (about ½ pound), quartered

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil


1 large Asian pear--peeled, cored and cut into matchsticks (about 1 cup)

¼ cup mixed herbs, such as Thai basil, mint and cilantro

¼ cup pomegranate seeds (from about ¼ pomegranate)


¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

½ teaspoon finely grated lime zest

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar

1 small Thai bird or serrano chile--roasted, seeded and finely chopped (about 1½ teaspoons)




1. Make the salad: Brush the red and green cabbage with the olive oil and sprinkle with salt. In a large cast-iron skillet, cook the cabbage over high heat until brown on all sides and slightly soft, about 5 minutes. Let the cabbage cool to room temperature, then core and thinly slice.

2. While the cabbage cools, make the vinaigrette: In a small bowl, whisk the olive oil with the lime zest, lime juice, rice wine vinegar and chile. Season to taste with salt and set aside.

3. In a large bowl, combine the pear with the red and green cabbage, herbs and pomegranate seeds. Toss with the vinaigrette and season to taste with salt. Divide among 4 plates and serve immediately.

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