Cabbage is a northern staple and I’m a big fan of red cabbage. It’s a main part of my diet through the winter, and we go through one whole head of cabbage each week at this time of year. Cheap, easy to store, and delicious if prepared well, cabbage is truly a winter gem.
It’s great to have some raw vegetables in your diet in the winter since we’re so reliant on cooked foods during the colder months. Even if you don’t really care about the nutritional benefits, it’s just nice to have something crunchy!
This wintery cabbage salad is made with orange juice instead of vinegar and it’s certainly on the sweeter side. Red cabbage can be a little bitter, especially raw, and adding something sweet lifts it a bit. The combination with orange and pomegranate is excellent.
This lasts several days in the refrigerator, so it’s a good option if you like to prep some food on one day to tide you over over for a few and you have enough space to keep it.
Slice the cabbage very finely and place it into a large bowl.
Add the orange juice, olive oil, mustard, maple syrup, salt, and pepper.
Use your hands to mix very thoroughly, massaging for about a minute. Add the orange slices and pomegranate arils and either serve immediately, or store in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to five days.
Tips and Notes
I recommend trying to make this at least an hour in advance of serving, but you can skip the resting time if you massage the cabbage a while longer. It is a bit like kale in that it’s a bit too chewy or hard without taking that step.
As mentioned above, it does last a few days, so you can make a larger batch and store it for later. This makes up the longer than usual active time needed for another salad.
This makes a fairly small salad, and I usually double it if I’m prepping it for the week. If you know you’ll like it, then just double it from the get-go, and if you’re not sure, stick to this the first time.
If you have a mandolin, certainly use it to slice the cabbage. I use the slicing attachment on my food processor – if you have neither, you can also grate the cabbage on the largest side of your box grater.
If you like more acidic food, try adding a little balsamic vinegar to the salad, or rice vinegar for a more Asian-inspired flavour. I love acid and I like the salad without, but the option is there.
Use any kind of mustard you like, just not hotdog mustard.
Maple syrup and honey are used interchangeably in this recipe. Stick to maple syrup, of course, if you’re vegan. Sugar can be used in a pinch.
It’s certainly possible to use green or savoy cabbage if that’s what you have, the only real difference will be in the colour.
More Winter Salads
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Red Cabbage Orange Salad
- ½ small red cabbage ~300 grams / 10 oz.
- Juice of an orange about 1/4 cup
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ teaspoon dijon mustard
- ½ teaspoon maple syrup or honey
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 1 large orange thinly sliced, peel removed
- ¼ pomegranate seeds
- Slice the cabbage very finely and place it into a large bowl. Add the orange juice, olive oil, mustard, maple syrup, salt, and pepper.1/2 small red cabbage, Juice of an orange, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard, 1/2 teaspoon maple syrup or honey, 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- Use your hands to mix very thoroughly, massaging for about a minute.
- Add the orange slices and pomegranate arils and either serve immediately, or store in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to five days.1 large orange, 1/4 pomegranate
• This makes a fairly small salad, and I usually double it if I’m prepping it for the week. If it’s your first time trying it, you may want to stick to the smaller amount as written.
• If you have a mandolin, certainly use it to slice the cabbage. I use the slicing attachment on my food processor – if you have neither, you can also grate the cabbage on the largest side of your box grater.
This post was first published in January 2018. It has been updated with new photos and improvements to the text as of February 2021.