If you took a poll among 10 of your friends, how many do you think would like cabbage? For me, it was 6 out of 10 who liked it. But what I found was that there was very little middle ground. One or two said “it’s just ok”. But most either love it or hate it. I’m one of the lovers! I like to eat it when it’s cool and crunchy. But I really love it roasted! There’s nothing better than a bowl of warm, sweet, chewy cabbage.
This roasted red cabbage salad, to me, is a bowl of comfort food. Sliced red cabbage and red onions are drizzled with olive oil and seasoned with cumin, ginger, fennel seed and orange zest and roasted to a soft, slightly charred, chewy perfection. Toss in some sweet dried apricots, figs, and plums along with some tangy dried cranberries. Sprinkle on some toasted walnuts and drizzle it with your favorite vinegar.
Is it red cabbage? Is it purple cabbage? If you google it, it can go either way. But next to my red onion, this cabbage looks purple. (Though I always question is it a red onion or a purple onion?!) Cabbage is a great source of fiber as well as vitamins C & K.
I love to season the cabbage while it’s roasting. The spices I chose for this recipe are cumin, partially dried ginger, fennel seeds and freshly grated orange zest.
I usually keep dried fruit in my pantry. Great for a quick sweet snack. But I often use them in cooking and in salads. For this cabbage salad I chose to use apricots, figs, plums and cranberries. I have no affiliation with the brand Fruit Bliss. But I find their dried fruit to be so soft, plump and flavorful. (Usually I rehydrate dried fruit in a little warm water.)
Since the cabbage and onions are roasted with olive oil, all you need to do to dress this salad is add your favorite vinegar. I have quite a large collection of vinegar, about twice what is pictured here. I just love finding new flavors. My favorite for this salad is a balsamic. I love honey white balsamic vinegar as well as a good aged balsamic. But you can find fruity vinegars like fig, orange and raspberry. Or maybe something herbal like tarragon vinegar. Champagne, sherry or wine vinegars are great. But maybe good old, tried and true apple cider vinegar is your thing?
Toss everything together and serve with a few favorite vinegars on the side. Add as much or little vinegar as you like. I like MUCH!
I love the consistency of a thick, aged balsamic vinegar. And when I use it, I actually like to dress the bowl and add the salad on top. When I’m eating this as my main salad, I often like to add a few chunks of fresh pear. But you can certainly serve this as a side. Or maybe use it as a salad topper for some balsamic chicken or slow roasted salmon!
There are so many things you can do with this salad. Here are some ideas on how to MAKE IT YOUR OWN:
- I used red cabbage for it’s striking purple color as it cooks. But honestly, any cabbage would taste just as good.
- I simply added red onion to the roasting pan. But roasted fennel and garlic would also be great additions.
- I love the combination of color in this salad. But you can keep it simple and monochromatic. Red cabbage with dried cranberries or cherries. Green cabbage with golden raisins.
- Not a fan of dried fruit? Add fresh fruit to your bowl. Fresh diced pears or figs would be great.
- Still not a fan of dried fruit? Then add a fruit to the roasting process. Fresh cranberries, grapes, pears or apples sound good to me. You can even make this seasonal.
- Change up the seasonings you use. Experiment with your favorite seasonings like coriander, curry, or Moroccan spices. Maybe just a sprinkling of Herbs de Provence. Or certainly season with fresh, chopped herbs after the roasting. You decide.
- You can certainly add your favorite protein to the mix to make this a heartier salad. Mmmmmm. Bacon!
- 1 head of red cabbage, sliced (about 1 pound or 4 cups)
- 1 large red onion, sliced
- 4 dried apricots chopped or sliced
- 4 dried figs, chopped or sliced
- 4 dried plums, chopped or sliced
- ¼ cup of dried cranberries
- ½ cup of chopped walnuts
- 3 Tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 teaspoon of partially dried ginger (I used Gourmet Garden)
- 1 teaspoon of fennel seeds, roughly crushed
- 1 teaspoon of brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon of cumin
- zest of 1 orange
- salt & pepper to taste
- your favorite vinegar for serving
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Combine the shredded cabbage and onions.
- Drizzle with the olive oil.
- Place on a baking sheet.
- Sprinkle with the cumin, ginger, fennel, orange zest, brown sugar and salt & pepper to your liking.
- Toss gently to combine.
- Roast for 30-35 minutes until the cabbage is soft and charred in places.
- Place the cabbage mixture in your serving bowl.
- Add the dried fruits and walnuts and toss.
- Serve with vinegar on the side.
All of my salads and dressings are just a starting place for your imagination. So feel free to add or swap ingredients and do what works for you!