The Gray House's cabbage and cava salad: 50 Favorite Dishes, no. 40

Crunchy, cool, and complex: The Gray House's cabbage salad
Crunchy, cool, and complex: The Gray House's cabbage salad

E. Katie Holm

As a countdown to the Best of the Twin Cities 2013, coming April 17, the Hot Dish is serving up 50 of our favorite local dishes.

Since chef Ian Gray, co-owner of the Gray House in Uptown, prides himself on using only up-to-the-minute, fresh, seasonal ingredients, his menu changes as often as Katy Perry's hair color. But his food is always fresh, well balanced, and often showcases the range of a single ingredient.

Amidst all the delicious grilled meats and handmade pasta at the Gray House, it's hard to imagine that a salad would end up being the item that made the most lasting impression, but that should tell you something about just how good this salad is.

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The key to keeping any dish interesting is focusing on the combination of textures, especially true of plates that are served cold. Gray's salad hits all the right notes and remains balanced and very tasty throughout. The crunchy cabbage plays unexpectedly well with sharp and creamy goat cheese, raw red onion, bits of mint, and the smattering of chili flakes that impart a bit of welcome heat to the salad. But the component that really brings everything together is the unique dressing, which has a base of cava -- a sparkling Spanish white wine. Gray uses it to make his own version of a champagne vinaigrette, which is nicely seasoned but still light and spritely thanks to the good dose of acid. 

Like everything else at the Gray House, this cabbage salad changes a bit with the seasons (right now there's a version that uses turnips), but it's always clean, refreshing, and packed with flavor.

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The Gray House - Closed

610 W. Lake St.
Minneapolis, MN 55408


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