culinary review

Crisp Winter Salad with Red Cabbage, Carrots, Orange & Pistachios

Last Modified: 12/01/10
First Published: 12/01/10
Views: 1520
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Views: 1520
Crisp Winter Salad with Red Cabbage, Carrots, Orange & Pistachios
While fresh summer salads with tender leaves and sun ripe tomatoes are without comparison, you must not forget the charm of hearty winter salads when that time of year arrives. During fall and winter when substantial root vegetables and cabbage are abound, it would be a shame to cling to salads which in this time of year become less desirable, as the tomatoes loose their sweetness and the crispness of green leaves doesn't seem the quite the same.

Enter the winter salads. A great substitute for summer salads which can certainly hold its own even when looked at critically. Here we have great crunch and color which coupled with a good vinaigrette becomes quite irresistible. Who ever said that winter is boring and bland? This is the time of year when carrots, beets, parsnips, squash etc.. thrives and the prices are wonderful as well.

Which exact vegetables you choose is of course optional; however we used red cabbage (mostly for its bright color, although green, bok choy, savoy etc... would also be a nice alternative) coupled with grated carrots (feel free to use grated raw beets, turnips, winter squash etc...), some thinly sliced red onion, slices of orange as well as some bright green pistachios. To add additional flavor, we made a vinaigrette with red wine and sherry vinegar, mustard, garlic and olive oil, which we let the vegetables soak in for 30 minutes or so before eating. This is one thing which is great when making salads with cabbage and grated root vegetables: it doesn't hurt them to sit in a dressing for some time before serving as it does to crisp greens – instead it improves the vegetables! They soften a bit and and soak up the flavors; in fact you can make this salad a few hours in advance, or even the day before!

Crisp Winter Salad

4 servings
  • 1 tablespoon of vinegar – we used a combination of red wine and cherry vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon of dijon mustard
  • 1 garlic clove, whole but smashed
  • salt & pepper
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 orange, zested first, then cut the peel of the fruit until no white is visible, and chop up the orange
  • 2 large carrots, grated
  • ¼ red onion, sliced thinly
  • ½ head of red cabbage, sliced thinly
  • 2 tablespoons of shelled pistachios, roughly chopped

Whisk the vinaigrette together in a big bowl – add the vinegar, mustard, garlic clove, salt and pepper, the orange zest and then slowly add the oil to form an emulsion. Add the grated carrots, the onion, the cabbage, the orange slices and the chopped pistachios. Mix well and either serve immediately, let sit for 30 minutes in room temperature, or leave in the fridge until the next day.

Make sure to remove the smashed garlic clove before serving!