Take a step back. It's not always about the meat. Salads can be infinitely complex, a compilation of cooked and raw ingredients, flavours that cover the palatte completely, but in a really balanced way. My persimmon and broccoli salad is the perfect accompaniment to fish or pork, or a great light lunch on it's own. Recipe follows.
1/4 Red Cabbage, very finely sliced
1 White Onion, finely sliced
2 Persimmons, cut into matchsticks
1/2 Head Broccoli
1 Teaspoon Sumac
2 Teaspoons Smoked Paprika
1 Small Bunch Coriander, leaves removed, stalks minced
1 Carrot, Peeled and julienned
1 Red Capsicum, finely sliced
In a large bowl, blanch the cabbage in boiling water for thirty seconds. Drain immediately afterwards. Tip into a clean tea-towel, loosely wrap it up lengthways, bring the ends together, then spin it dry. Transfer to the salad serving bowl.
Next, separate the broccoli head into individual florets, then halve then again so they're all a similar size. Blanch these too in water for 1 min so the colour blooms. Heat a frying pan to a medium high heat. Drain the broccoli. Toss the broccoli in the frying pan with a lug of olive oil for five minutes until little brown bits start to form. Give it a quick salt and pepper, then throw them in with the cabbage.
Next, we're gonna brine the onions. Salt the hell out of the onion - about 5-6 teaspoons of table salt will do. Massage the salt into the onions and set aside for 25 minutes. The salt will take the acid out of the onions, making them sweet. After 25 minutes, rinse the onions well through a sieve, then spin them dry in a tea-towel as per the cabbage. Put them into the serving bowl.
Add to the serving bowl the persimmon, carrot, capsicum and coriander leaves. Using a tea-strainer or something with a sieve like mesh, dust the paprika and sumac into the salad while turning/mixing it in.
Sprinkle with a handful of linseeds. Douse and turn the salad in lemon juice, (juice of two lemons is good), then salt and pepper to taste.
Your vibrant, crisp salad is ready!