“When it comes to Italian food it’s a bit of a struggle sometimes to find beautiful, light, crunchy salads, because they don’t tend to do a lot of those,” says Chris Lucas, the restaurateur behind Melbourne restaurant Baby. “We wanted to create a dish that we thought would be popular here in Australia, but draw on some of the beautiful flavours from Italy.”

The dish has proven so popular at Baby that the team had to give it a promotion. “It started off as a side, and people were just ordering it on its own,” Lucas says. “Now we’ve made it a central dish under our salad section. We’ve had lots of people get inspired and try it at home.” If you are having it as a side, Lucas recommends serving it with a pizza. “The acidity and the crunchiness of the salad helps with the doughiness of the pizza, so it’s an all-round dish.”

Baby’s Cabbage and Pea Salad

Serves 6
15 minutes to prepare

Ingredients
Salad
450g savoy cabbage, thinly sliced
180g green peas
90g radish, thinly sliced
80g Parmigiano Reggiano
½ bunch mint leaves
4g chilli flakes
4g flaked sea salt

Dressing
60ml extra-virgin olive oil
25mls red-wine vinegar
10g minced garlic
15g Dijon mustard
2 sprigs thyme, picked
Salt to taste

Method
To make the dressing, combine everything except the oil in a mixing bowl. Slowly pour in the oil while mixing vigorously.

Combine the cabbage, radish, peas, mint leaves and chilli in a large serving bowl. Pour the dressing over and toss to combine. Use a Microplane to grate the parmesan on top and serve.

This is an extract from The Broadsheet Italian Cookbook, which features 80 essential recipes from Australia’s best restaurants, cafes and bars. Available at shop.broadsheet.com.au.