I love simple, raw, shredded red cabbage salads. It’s one of my favorite things about traveling to Stockholm for work. That and pancake Thursdays (also pea soup Thursdays, which I haven’t yet acknowledged). We have a canteen. Something we don’t have in Hamburg. A Nordic canteen with tasty offerings of simple, fresh, local, and seasonal Scandinavian dishes – one with an understated but fantastic salad bar, not as in “fantastic-it-gets-my-pulse-racing” fantastic, but rather one that satisfies my vegetable loving heart. They most always have two or three Swedish versions of cabbage salad, perhaps a lentil salad and a grain salad, always crisp peas and shredded carrots (okay, that provokes a small yawn, but tasty nonetheless), and some other fantastic seasonal vegetable salad. Greens? I guess so, but they aren’t the center attraction.
So yes, this vibrant and luscious red (or shall I say luscious purple) cabbage salad was inspired by my last visit to our Stockholm canteen where there was a fabulous red cabbage and orange salad with poppy seeds. A coleslaw to be exact. I loved it and had to recreate it. Though, I pepped up my version with fresh green herbs – mint and parsley and some chopped up naturally sweetened dried cranberries. So good. Have I mentioned how absolutely delicious this was? Pure simple deliciousness. Not to mention ultra healthy.
Besides its ability to brighten up a gloomy winter day, this vibrant salad doubles up as the perfect festive holiday side dish (or that oh-so-far-off summer BBQ). Winter — okay technically fall — needs a little color inspiration from time to time, right? I bet it’s amazing alongside a traditional roast goose. Okay if goose isn’t on the menu than I am sure it also works great alongside your favorite pot roast.
But actually it’s the perfect anytime salad that holds well if you are pre-making it or want to savor leftovers as an easy healthy lunch. I bet you could even top it with some canned tuna, if you are looking for a light and filling lunch.
In season now, red cabbage is loaded with vitamin C and powerful antioxidants and just like all other salads, try to source organic local produce wherever possible. Enjoy!
Red Cabbage, Cranberry & Orange Salad
For the salad:
1/2 head of red cabbage (about 4 cups), sliced thinly using a mandoline
2 navel oranges, segmented and juice reserved
1 bunch of fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons freshly chopped mint leaves
3 green onions, chopped
3 tablespoons organic dried cranberries (sweetened with apple juice), coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons poppy seeds (optional)
For the dressing:
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon (or more) reserved orange juice
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
pinch of cinnamon
sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1. Combine the shredded cabbage, orange segments, parsley, mint, green onions, and cranberries in a large bowl.
2. In a small bowl, mix together the dressing ingredients.
3. Pour the dressing over the salad, toss to combine and let stand for 30 minutes to let the flavors mingle.
4. When ready to serve, sprinkle with poppy seeds and enjoy!