Red cabbage is one of my favorite winter vegetables, perhaps because I grew up OD-ing on my Grandma’s boiled, sweet and sour masterpiece of a side dish. It also happens to be wonderfully cheap, keeps in the fridge for two weeks easily, and, on top of it all, is absolutely beautiful. And since I can’t quite nail the flavor of my Grandma’s version (it is work in progress!), I found other ways of using this brassica.
For some peculiar reason, one of the most often viewed post on this blog is this rather unimpressive salad (it does howe make a nice weekday lunch), and this coleslaw is just a season-appropriate version of it - in a much nicer color scheme. I sometimes add fresh corriander and if you have some on hand, try that, too. Toasting the walnuts for a little bit longer than i would normally makes the heartiness of lentils more pronounced. Pomegranate is in season now and not that expensive, so I always have a bowl of seeds in the fridge, but if you can’t be bothered, use dried cranberries, or skip this altogether, use a whole orange and maybe an extra teaspoon of date syrup for the dressing.
Red Cabbage Coleslaw
(serves 1 for lunch, 2 as a side)
2 tbsp walnuts / 30g
1/2 cup shredded cabbage/ 100g / about 1/8 head
3 tbsp (canned) lentils / 50g
1 medium carrot
2 tbsp pomegranate seeds / dried cranberry
a good handful of fresh parsley
1 tbsp orange or lemon juice
2 tbsp tahini
1 tsp date syrup / sugar (optional)
1/2 tsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp dried mint
a healthy pinch of both black pepper and salt
Dry toast the walnuts until almost charred, take off the hot pan and let cool, then chop roughly.
Peel the orange and cut the navels into bite-size chunks. If you’re feeling ambitious you could go all the way and fillet the fruit but orange membranes are so thin they are hardly detectable here. Place in a medium bowl, together with all the juice, if you end up pressing any.
Shred the cabbage and carrot, add to the orange bits. Pick the leaves of parsley, chop them finely and transfer to the bowl as well. You can keep the stalks for smoothies or stock. Finally, add the lentils (drained), pomegranate and walnuts, give it a good mix with your hands, sort of massage to soften the cabbage.
In a small bowl, combine all of the ingredients and whisk with a fork, as if you were beating an egg, until thick and mayo-like in texture. Pour over the slaw and serve.
Since red cabbage is quite strudy and there is no pure oil in the dressing, this salad will keep in the fridge for a day after making.