Red cabbage, radicchio and endive join fennel, raisins and toasted walnuts in this crunchy winter salad.
I don’t know why it’s taken me quite so long to write about red cabbage. It’s a powerhouse of nutrition in a pretty package.
Its vivid color reveals a powerful concentration of anthocyanins which are believed to have anti-oxidant properties, not to mention that it delivers a pretty good dose of Vitamin C.
So how come so many people shy away from it? I have to think it may have something to do with many people’s first encounter with the cabbage family…coleslaw. Bland, soggy and dripping in mayo, this quintessential American slaw does cabbage no favors.
But I grew up eating this crunchy, cruciferous vegetable; mainly raw, shredded, spiked with spicy Dijon mustard and mouth puckering vinegar.
Its vibrant color intensified and sturdy texture softened under the acidity of the vinegar while the mustard added even more heat to this brightly colored member of the cabbage family and a little olive oil rounded out the sharp edges.
I still make it that way, but lately I’ve taken to accessorizing my red cabbage salads a bit. Radicchio and endive have joined the mix for a bitter edge as well as fennel for added freshness and crunch.
A handful of buttery walnuts and sweet, chewy raisins are tossed in for texture and balance while snippets of fresh flat leaf parsley add some liveliness to the color palate.
This is my winter salad, the one I come back to time and time again when I’m craving something light and crunchy in the middle of a season dominated by heartiness and warmth.
Serves Serves 4
A light and crunchy winter salad.
20 minPrep Time
- 1/2 small red cabbage, finely shredded (using a mandoline or the shredding disk of a food processor if possible)
- 1 small radicchio, finely shredded
- 2 Belgian endives, finely shredded
- 1 small fennel bulb, fronds reserved and finely shredded
- 2 Tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 1/2 cup / 60g toasted walnuts, roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup / 30g crumbled goat cheese (optional)
- 2 Tablespoons /15ml apple cider vinegar
- 2 Tablespoons / 15ml pure maple syrup
- 1/4 cup / 60ml extra virgin olive oil
- 2 Tablespoons / 30 ml walnut oil
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Combine the thinly shredded cabbage, radicchio, endives and fennel in a large bowl with the parsley and chopped fennel fronds.
- Whisk the vinegar, maple syrup, olive oil and walnut oil in a small bowl. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
- Toss the salad with the vinaigrette just before serving, top with toasted walnuts and crumbled goat cheese if desired.