Napa Cabbage Wedge Salad with Apples and Buttermilk Dressing

October  8, 2014
6 Ratings
  • Serves 4 to 6
Author Notes

A fresh take on the classic wedge salad, with Napa cabbage, crisp apples, red onion, and a robust, creamy buttermilk Parmesan dressing. —Elizabeth Stark

What You'll Need
  • For the buttermilk Parmesan dressing:
  • 1 clove garlic, smashed and minced
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons buttermilk, more to taste
  • 2 tablespoons finely crumbled or shredded Parmesan
  • For the Napa cabbage wedge salad:
  • 1 small head Napa cabbage
  • 1 small red onion
  • 2 crisp apples (Honeycrisp, Fuji, and Braeburn are all favorites)
  • 2 tablespoons tablespoons crumbled Parmesan, plus a few bits for crumbling over finished salad
  • 1 tablespoon minced chives
  • 1 pinch Sea salt, to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  1. For the buttermilk Parmesan dressing:
  2. In a small mixing bowl, combine the garlic, sherry vinegar, Dijon, and sea salt with a fork. Whisking vigorously with the fork, drizzle in olive oil and then whisk in sour cream. When mixture is thick and creamy, slowly whisk in buttermilk. Finally, add the crumbled Parmesan, and whisk vigorously to combine.
  3. Chill dressing in the fridge while you prepare the salad.
  1. For the Napa cabbage wedge salad:
  2. Keeping the core intact, slice Napa cabbage lengthwise into four equal quarters. Arrange on a large platter.
  3. Either with a mandoline or a sharp knife, carefully cut the red onion into paper thin slices. Core and cut apples into 1/8-inch thick slices. In a medium-sized bowl, toss apples and onions with a pinch of sea salt and a tablespoon of the prepared dressing.
  4. Tuck dressed onion and apple slices all around and between the leaves of the cabbage wedges. Drizzle the Napa wedges with most of the remaining dressing. Finish with chives, a pinch of sea salt, plenty of fresh ground black pepper, and scattered Parmesan.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Karen Brooks
    Karen Brooks
  • Scott Goodwin
    Scott Goodwin
  • Emily | Cinnamon&Citrus
    Emily | Cinnamon&Citrus
  • Vanessa Bailey Hunter
    Vanessa Bailey Hunter
  • Haley Sonneland
    Haley Sonneland
Elizabeth Stark, along with her husband Brian Campbell, chronicles her passion for simple, fresh recipes on the award-wining food blog Brooklyn Supper.

14 Reviews

Karen B. August 25, 2022
This is really tasty. We increase the sherry vinegar to 2 Tblsp for more tartness. As a wedge salad it's great for a sit-down dinner. We like this so much, I chopped the cabbage, onions and apples and tossed with everything else for a slaw to take to a potluck where it was a hit!
C0m¡d@ January 24, 2022
Simple and delicate! What a beautifully presented main course. I served it with a side of roasted carrots and broccoli. Yum!
Jessica D. January 6, 2016
This is amazing!! I subbed out sour cream & buttermilk for plain greek yogurt. Swapped Parm for Feta. Added left over chicken and avocado!!! Amazing!!
namrata G. September 6, 2015
How do you even begin to clean/ wash out the napa cabbage, while its still intact? Have you got a technique you can share with me/ us? Otherwise lovely recipe. waiting to try it.
Elizabeth S. September 6, 2015
Hi Namrata, I find the leaves of napa cabbage are typically very tightly bundled, and so only the outer leaves have sand or dirt. I typically peel off the outer layer of leaves and then thoroughly rinse the head. If dirt is still a concern (though I don't think it will be), you could submerge the cabbage wedges in water, and shake out any sand.
Scott G. February 13, 2015
I'd do stuffed pork chops (filled with garlic croutons, sautéed celery and onions) baked in the oven and doused with dark molasses for the last 15 minutes.
maggiepcs January 15, 2015
Served this tonight but made with romaine - not as unusual, but we really enjoyed the dressing with the apples and onions. I just had mine as a side with roasted chicken and sweet potatoes.
Emily |. October 27, 2014
I just served it with big slabs of toast topped with bacon-orange zest butter, thinly sliced radishes, and a sprinkle of sea salt. I still counted it as my "meatless Monday" even though I added the bacon for my husband, so I understand the protein comment!
Elizabeth S. October 28, 2014
Whoa, Emily! I love theses amendments. Such an on-point flavor pairing. Thanks for sharing your experience with the recipe!
Jordan October 23, 2015
WOWZERS Emily! Love this.
Vanessa B. October 24, 2014
I served it with Alton Brown's Molasses and Coffee Pork Chops, Roasted Carrots, and Three Philosophers Ale. An awesome meal!
Elizabeth S. October 28, 2014
Hi Vanessa, What do I need to do to get invited to your place? That meal sounds heavenly, and I just *know* those chops were awesome. The perfect match for this salad!
Haley S. October 11, 2014
Elizabeth - Any recommendations on a dish to serve this salad with? The husband would want some sort of protein served with it as well, I'm sure!
Elizabeth S. October 28, 2014
Hi Haley, Another reader went with pork chops, and that's a classic pairing. Otherwise, I feel like this salad really plays well to a slab of meat or fish. (You'll have your knife out, after all.)