Farmers' Market Slaw + An Ode to Red Cabbage

This dish - in one form or another - has been on heavy rotation in my house lately.  It's quick, easy, draws upon local goodies, can be made in big batches to last a few days, and my husband likes it. Wins all around.

It was originally inspired by a trip to my beloved farm stand.  As I pulled up to the stand, I immediately spied a very large and very pretty head of red cabbage.  Up until this day, I had convinced myself I hated the taste of red cabbage (which is also called purple cabbage due to its maroon hue).  I suppose because the color was so bright and appealing, I decided to take the cabbage home anyway, figuring I could test my taste buds.  The entire head was $2.  I couldn't really go wrong.

I think I read somewhere that cabbage is on a list of the healthiest foods to eat or one of the top cancer-fighting foods or something to this effect (I don't really follow lists like this - I just eat a wide variety of fruits, veggies, beans, grains, nuts, seeds and sometimes fish and trust that they're all doing their thang to keep my system healthily humming along).  Both red and green cabbage are equally healthy and contain many of the same health bennys.  Since red cabbage has that deep red-purple pigment, it contains the antioxidants lycopene (which you've surely heard about with tomatoes) and anthocyanins (found in other bright red and purple foods).  This cabbage also contains Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, potassium, folate and fiber.

Sooo in thinking that I hated red cabbage, I must have been confusing it with radicchio (way too bitter for me), because it turns out that red cabbage tastes almost exactly like green cabbage and I love it.  In short, red cabbage is good for you, it's wicked cheap, plus it tastes delicious.  Eat more of it.  Here's a great way to start.

Farmers' Market Slaw

1 head red cabbage

6 ribs celery

3 carrots

1 bulb fennel

1/4 cup olive oil

2 tsp Dijon mustard

juice of 1/2 lemon

1/2 cup parsley

1/2 cup walnuts

1/2 cup pumpkin seeds

1/2 cup dried cranberries

Cut all veggies (cabbage through fennel) into large chunks.  Don't worry too much about size, as they're all going into a food processor.  In a food processor, pulse the cabbage until it looks like this:

Throw the cabbage into a large bowl, then add the other veggies to the food processor and pulse until you get this:

Stir those veggies into the cabbage bowl.  [If you don't have a food processor, you can finely slice or julienne the veggies - either by hand or mandoline.  Or just hack away with a large knife until you get little pieces.]

Next, whisk the olive oil, mustard and lemon juice in a small bowl.  Pour this mixture over the salad and toss to coat.

Roughly chop the parsley and stir into the salad.

Taste here and sea salt and pepper to taste.

Toast your walnuts and pumpkin seeds by heating them over medium-high heat in a large frying pan, shaking continuously until they are fragrant and lightly browned.  Pour them in a small bowl and allow to cool.  Then mix them into the salad.

Finally, stir in the cranberries.

This recipe makes a whole bunch.  Eat it as a dinner side dish, pack it up for lunches, use it as a salad base, adding roasted root veggies and goat cheese to it.

There are a ton of ways to play with this salad - throw in whatever you find at your next trip to the farmers' market!


Other great add-ins:

Broccoli stalk


Red & Gold Beets

Green Cabbage


I hope you enjoy - let me know how you play around with this slaw!