Red cabbage. Beets. Oranges. Apples. Walnuts. A touch of red onion, to keep things interesting. These are the makings of a super salad. Add a tasty, fruity homemade vinaigrette plus some incredible health benefits – we're talking nutrient-dense and absolutely packed with vitamins – and you've got a fresh take on salad that cannot be beat.
Red cabbage continues to be a seriously underrated food, despite being both amazing for you and cost-effective. World's Healthiest Foods has a great page on cabbage, where I learned that recent research suggests that raw cabbage may have cancer-preventative benefits. Red cabbage, in particular, packs a big serving of vitamins K and B6, fiber, potassium, and manganese. Plus, it's loaded with antioxidants, and (when combined with the oranges in this salad) will provide you will well over your daily dose of immune-boosting vitamin C!
This is my adaptation of a recipe I found on the website of BBC's GoodFood Magazine. Here's the original recipe; I tweaked it a little because I wanted a higher fruit-to-cabbage ratio, and because their recipe yields a HUGE salad. One quarter head of red cabbage made enough for my 5 friends at a dinner party, plus 3 days worth of leftovers.
Recipe: Bright, Mega-Healthy Citrus Red Cabbage Salad
one quarter of a head of red cabbage
two red apples
8 or 9 oz. cooked beets
a handful or two of walnuts
3 ripe oranges
half of a red onion
5 tablespoons red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons strawberry preserves or any kind of red fruit jam
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons olive oil
1. Grab a big (and I mean big) salad bowl. Core and dice the apples, leaving the skin on. Chop the beets into cubes around the same size as the apples. Finely chop the red onion. Roughly chop the walnuts. Toss all of these guys into the big bowl.
2. Cut out any remainder of the white core at the bottom of the cabbage, then chop into fine shreds. Raw, the cabbage has a robust flavor which can sometimes be a bit bitter, so I think the finer, the better. That way, it can mix easily with the other ingredients.
3. Throw the shredded cabbage into the bowl and toss with other ingredients. If desired, use a fork (or, if you’re lucky enough to have one, a zester) to finely grate orange peel (to taste) over the mixture.
4. Cut the top and bottom off of each orange, and then use a small knife to remove strips of peel, cutting downward. Cut up the peeled oranges over the bowl, letting small-to-medium-sized chunks fall into the salad, along with any juice. Squeeze in any juice left in the peel, too. You can fish out and chop further any chunks you feel need it.
5. To make the dressing, use a fork to whisk together the red wine vinegar, olive oil, strawberry preserves, and honey. Remove any chunks of fruit and discard (or run it through the food processor to even out the texture). Pour over salad and serve chilled.
+ You might see a little staining on your fingertips and under your nails while chopping the beets and red cabbage, but I washed my hands after completing this step and several times afterwards throughout the course of the evening, and by the end of the night, no stains to speak of.
+ I think dressing the whole salad is the best option, even if you’re planning to keep leftovers in the fridge for a few days. The longer that baby marinates in all those delicious juices, the better it gets. According to the Good Food website, this should keep for at least 3-4 days in the fridge.
I hope you enjoy this recipe! If you give it a try, please let me know how it worked out for you. I'd love to hear your thoughts!! :)