This is my beautiful jewel like winter salad. Red cabbage is finely shredded to remain crisp with deep, earthy flavour. A perfect vessel to carry off sweet and tangy citrus enhanced by the juicy pomegranate seeds. Topped with rich and buttery pecans. And normally finished off with a generous scattering of feta cheese on top for a light lunch.
But not today. Seems my teenage daughter has taken to a sneaky snacking on the Apetina cheese leaving the empty container behind in the fridge. A restock was therefore needed but fever and constant coughing have had me bed bound for the last couple of days. Although I have surfed the internet a lot in the early hours of the days, wide awake yet exhausted from the lack of sleep, I seem to be incapable of constructing a decent on-line grocery shop – 960 teabags anyone? …
So on this occasion we will do without the cheese. But the boost of antioxidants, iron and vitamins is very welcome by me. When I get ill, my appetite diminishes for everything except fruit and I find myself craving it more than ever. Fruit salad seems like the obvious choice but to provide a little bit more substance I have decided to bring out this winter beauty instead.
I love red cabbage. It’s in my Polish make up – we Poles love cabbage any time of the year, whether it’s in rich winter stews or in light summer dishes. Red cabbage is a particular favourite of mine at this time of the year. I often make it as a hot accompaniment to roasts, gently stewed with sweet apples and sharp cranberries and scented with aromatics of cinnamon and star anise. But it is equally gorgeous as a main ingredient of this salad. The key is to shred it as finely as you can, if possible using a mandolin or a food processor. The cabbage is dressed in clementine juice to add sweetness but also to help it to retain its beautiful red colour. I paired it up with fresh pink grapefruit segments as I wanted that tart, acidic sweetness to complement the juicy pomegranate. Toasted pecans add further crunch and round things off nicely for a casual affair. Here is the recipe:
- 1/2 small red cabbage
- 2 clementines
- 1 tbsp of olive oil
- pinch of flaked salt
- 2 pink grapefruits
- 1 medium pomegranate
- 20 grams of pecans, toasted
- 30 grams of Apetina feta cheese (optional)
Clean the cabbage of the outer leaves. Shred it as finely as you can. Place the shredded cabbage into a large bowl and squeeze the clementines over it. Add the olive oil and a pinch of salt. Mix the cabbage to ensure it is well coated in the juice and oil. This will ensure the cabbage does not turn blue but retains its vibrant red hues. Set the bowl aside whilst you work on the rest of the ingredients.
Peel the grapefruits ensuring all of the white pith is removed. Slice the segments of the grapefruit out straight into the bowl of prepared cabbage to catch any extra juices. Give it a mix and arrange onto your serving plate.
Separate the pomegranate seeds and sprinkle them over the salad. You might find that cutting the pomegranate in half and tapping it with a wooden spoon on the outside whilst set over a bowl will make things easier without the seeds spraying everywhere. Alternatively peel the pomegranate over a bowl of water – that way the seeds will sink and the bitter flesh will float allowing for ease of separation. The salad can now rest at room temperature for up to a couple of hours without loosing its crunch.
If you have a sneaky cheese eating teenager, sprinkle the salad with feta and pecans just before serving. Enjoy x
Update: I have shared this post as part of #ExtraVeg challenge hosted by Helen of Fuss Free Flavours and Michelle of Utterly Scrummy on their blogs, why not pop over and have a look at some veggie inspirations?