Crunchy red cabbage slaw with a zingy juniper dressing

Crunchy red cabbage and delicious wintry spices combine in this gorgeously vibrant raw vegan salad that will brighten any plate.

January may not seem like the most natural time of year for salads. When the days are short and the weather is cold, I think most people, myself included, prefer hearty, warming fare. But raw vegetables are good for you any time of year, and crisp seasonal veg, lightly dressed with something zingy, can brighten up a plate on even the darkest days of winter. 

Crunchy red cabbage and delicious wintry spices combine in this gorgeously vibrant raw vegan salad that will brighten any plate.

Spice is nice

The dressing for this gorgeously vibrant red cabbage salad has a slightly unlikely inspiration. First, let me show you my spice rack.

spice rack

Before you ask, yes, I do use all of these. Some more regularly than others – those tend to be the ones on the bottom shelf. Top shelf is refills and less frequently used items. And the middle is everything else.

Sweet scent of besamim

Towards the end of last year, DH bought me a stunning contemporary havdalah* set for my birthday. Naturally, I raided the spice rack to fill up the besamim container with suitably fragrant spices. I added cloves, cinnamon stick, nutmegs, coriander seeds and cardamom, and then, just as I was about to close the cupboard, my eye alighted on one of the rarely-used top shelf jars.

I had to get the steps out to reach it, but a few lightly crushed juniper berries soon also made their way into the new besamim pot.

Roll on Saturday evening and the most gorgeous aroma greeted us during the havdalah service! The juniper and coriander especially provided a gloriously uplifting, spicy, wintry scent. Wonderful.

Salad days

Shortly afterwards, we received a red cabbage in our organic veg box and it struck me that those wonderful winter spices would work fabulously alongside its hearty, mustardy flavours. A bit of tinkering with quantities, dipping and tasting, and this lovely crunchy red cabbage slaw was the happy result.

Crunchy red cabbage and delicious wintry spices combine in this gorgeously vibrant raw vegan salad that will brighten any plate.

You do need to slice everything finely for this recipe, so if you haven’t sharpened your knives for a while, now’s the time. It’s definitely worth it – crunchy shredded red cabbage, tangy leeks, peppery radishes and sweet-tart dried cranberries would be yummy any day of the week, but the super-charged spicy dressing makes this over-the-top delicious. See those photos? I ate about half of what you can see straight after I took them. And I’d already had my lunch. So moreish!

Crunchy red cabbage and delicious wintry spices combine in this gorgeously vibrant raw vegan salad that will brighten any plate.

This colourful salad definitely brightened up a winter’s meal here. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

Serves 6 as a side dish.

Crunchy red cabbage and delicious wintry spices combine in this gorgeously vibrant raw vegan salad that will brighten any plate.

Crunchy red cabbage and delicious wintry spices combine in this gorgeously vibrant raw vegan salad that will brighten any plate.

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red cabbage salad
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5 from 7 votes

Red cabbage slaw with zingy winter dressing

Course Salad, Side Dish
Servings 6
Author Helen

Ingredients

For the dressing

  • 5-6 juniper berries
  • 0.5 tsp ground coriander
  • pinch salt
  • pinch ground black pepper
  • 4 tbsp mild olive oil
  • 2 tsp white wine vinegar

For the salad

  • 1/2 red cabbage (approx. 225g)
  • 1 leek (approx. 115g)
  • 10-12 small/medium radishes (approx. 100g)
  • 80-100 g dried cranberries

Instructions

  • First make the dressing: Crush/grind the juniper, coriander, salt and pepper in a pestle and mortar, then whisk in the oil, followed by the vinegar. Set aside.
  • Remove any tough outer leaves from the red cabbage and cut out the core. Shred the rest finely and place in a bowl.
  • Trim and clean the leek. Slice finely - as thinly as possible. Add to the red cabbage.
  • Wash the radishes and cut off the ends. Halve, then slice thinly. Add to the bowl with the cabbage and leek.
  • Finally, add the dried cranberries. Pour over the dressing and toss everything well together so that it is thoroughly mixed and everything is coated with the dressing. 
  • If possible, leave to stand for 20-30 minutes before serving to allow the flavours to mingle.

Notes

If you prefer a creamier slaw, add a dollop of mayonnaise or natural yogurt along with the dressing. 

Crunchy red cabbage and delicious wintry spices combine in this gorgeously vibrant raw vegan salad that will brighten any plate.

* havdalah is a short ceremony which marks the end of Shabbat (the Jewish sabbath) and the start of the new week. It involves a multi-wicked candle, wine or grape juice (or other beverage), and a jar of sweet scented spices. It’s one of my favourite Jewish rituals, and you can read more about it here.

 

18 Comments:

  1. It is perfect for dieting and we can also use this whit burgers.

  2. 5 stars
    That looks really tasty and I love the addition of cranberries. Sharing 🙂

  3. Deliciousness! Red cabbage and juniper are just meant to be together aren’t they? Such a tasty winter salad 🙂

  4. 5 stars
    I had some juniper berries a while back for gin making, and I used to regularly sniff them at 3pm for a ‘gin smell fix’ (yeah I know…). Love the idea of using them in this, sounds delish and I have a red cabbage in my fridge….

  5. 5 stars
    Such beautiful colour to cheer up January! This looks so delicious, I can’t wait to try it.

  6. 5 stars
    This salad looks delicious and ideal for winter and served with that dressing and the sweet cranberries….oh yum!

  7. 5 stars
    This salad ROCKS! I love cabbage so this is definitely something I would like to make ASAP. I love the vibrant colors as well.

  8. 5 stars
    I have never tried cooking with junper berries. That’s the great thing about reading new recipes – being inspired to try something new. This salad is just beautiful!

  9. 5 stars
    So vibrant, and the juniper dressing ROCKS. As the snow falls outside my window and the temperature drops again, this is the perfect thing.

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