Make Ahead

Summertime PineNapa Salad

June 24, 2011
4 Ratings
  • Serves 4-6
Author Notes

Everyone's heard the quote attributed to Mark Twain, "The coldest winter I ever saw was the summer I spent in San Francisco." He may or may not have actually said those words, but I live them. While most of the country is sweltering, I can reasonably expect 60 degree, windy and foggy weather in the months the rest of you call summer. But for a few unexpected days each summer, we might get 80 or possibly 90 degree weather, free of wind and fog. San Franciscans lap up those days like the rare treasures they are, and frankly people go a little crazy for a few days. Everyone is outside, blasting music, acting irresponsibly, acting like it might not last. Because it won't. While the arrival of a hot day is unpredictable, the end of a heat wave is very much predictable. After two or three days, the fog rolls back in, and we're back to wearing fleece and jeans.

I am not immune to heat wave-induced euphoria, although my response to it is pretty tame. Whenever the heat comes, if at all possible, I pack an impromptu picnic on the way to picking up the kids, and our family has a dinner picnic on Ocean Beach. We had our three days of summer heat earlier this week, and I made this salad as part of our picnic. Its flavors are vibrant and punchy, just like San Franciscans on a hot summer day. This salad is a great accompaniment to salume and crusty bread if you're having a simple picnic. It also pairs deliciously with pork chops or grilled fish. —Beautiful, Memorable Food

What You'll Need
  • 4 cups Napa cabbage, julienned
  • 2 cups fresh pineapple, cut into spears and then thinly sliced
  • 1 cup cilantro, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • cayenne pepper to taste (optional)
  1. Prep and place all vegetables and fruit into a salad bowl.
  2. In a separate small bowl, whisk together oils, vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste. Add cayenne if desired.
  3. Pour dressing over salad and toss well. Can be eaten right away, but is even better if allowed to stand for an hour or more. Keep refrigerated and enjoy cold.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • lapadia
  • lorigoldsby
  • TheWimpyVegetarian
  • Beautiful, Memorable Food
    Beautiful, Memorable Food
I'm the author Spicebox Kitchen and a physician and chef who teaches healthy cooking classes in San Francisco at the Thrive Kitchen. Come cook with me! More information on Facebook at TheDoctorsSpicebox. To your health!

6 Reviews

lapadia June 27, 2011
Great salad, I have some that are similar, love using Napa cabbage. I am up in the Pac NW, close to Seattle, and definitely hear you on the weather :)
Beautiful, M. June 27, 2011
Right now, it looks like it's snowing! Thanks for coming by and commenting.
lorigoldsby June 27, 2011
BLM...I was only able to spend one day in SF and it was the most gorgeous, sunny day....we were almost disappointed that we couldn't see even a little fog around the bridge. But I will enjoy this salad on one of our sunny days!
Beautiful, M. June 27, 2011
Thanks for commenting, Lori. You lucked out with the good weather. Come back anytime, you are very likely to see more fog than you were hoping for. Enjoy the salad.
TheWimpyVegetarian June 24, 2011
This looks delicious!! We were out of town this week so I missed the heat wave, but dinner on Ocean Beach must have been perfect!!
Beautiful, M. June 25, 2011
Thanks Suzanne! On days like those, I feel incredibly lucky to be living in a city that has that wild expanse of the Pacific and a wildly diverse group of people enjoying it.