It’s not always easy to add vegetables to our diets but I find if I don’t make a point of making a salad almost every day, I begin to feel sluggish and not at my best. I loved Mark Manson’s recent post about looking at New Year’s resolutions through the lens of developing good life habits instead of aiming for hard-to-reach goals. And a salad a day seems like a worthy habit to adopt, one that will have all kinds of positive spin-offs in your life.
Now, salad doesn’t have to mean lettuce shipped from California with a few slices of out-of-season tomatoes and bottled dressing. Pretty much any vegetable can be turned into a salad. And if lush, tender salad greens aren’t in season where you live, a good winter salad should include a couple of local storage crops such as carrots, beets, or in this case, cabbage.
Every salad needs a little zing and sparkle. If plain old shredded cabbage or grated carrots don’t excite you too much, try adding some of your favorite things into the mix and salad will become your friend for life. I love add-ons like toasted nuts, artichoke hearts, or big hunks of feta. In this dish, blood oranges and avocados are my sparkle. They transform this cabbage salad from meh to drool-worthy.
This is a colorful salad goes well with just about anything. I love to make it at the height of blood orange season but if you can’t find blood oranges, a regular orange will do the trick (grapefruit is equally wonderful). If you want this salad to be the main course, add some extra protein: sunflower seeds, maybe some crumbled goat cheese or a couple of sliced boiled eggs. Do experiment with the ingredients and tweak the recipe to suit your needs. Either way, it’s really hard to go wrong when you’re using local ingredients, a nice tangy dressing and a bit of love.
If you have leftovers, eat them the next day. The salad will look a lot less appetizing as it loses some of its vibrant color, but I find the flavor really comes into its full potential on day 2 once the ingredients have all had a chance to mingle and marinate. Enjoy!
Savoy Cabbage, Blood Orange, and Avocado Salad
- 1/2 head medium-large savoy cabbage (about 4 cups sliced)
- 1/4 head small red cabbage (about 1 cup sliced)
- 1 firm but ripe avocado, cubed
- 1 blood orange, peeled and finely chopped
- 1/2 cup cilantro leaves
- 1/4 cup of dry currants (or raisins)
- For the Dressing:
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 tsp dijon mustard
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp honey
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- For the Optional Add-Ons:
- Grated carrots, crumbled goat cheese, toasted nuts or sunflower seeds
- Slice the cabbages as finely as you can. Add all the ingredients and toss together, gently so as not to squash the avocado pieces.
- Place all the dressing ingredients in a small lidded jar and shake vigorously. Pour over salad and toss.
- Taste and adjust salt and pepper, as needed. Sometimes, I like to splash a dash of apple cider vinegar at this stage if the salad needs a bit more oomph. Serve.
Yield: 8-10 servings
Aube Giroux is a food writer and filmmaker who shares her love of cooking on her farm-to-table blog, Kitchen Vignettes.
Aube is a passionate organic gardener and home cook who likes to share the stories of how food gets to our dinner plates. Her work has been shown on television and at international film festivals. Her web series has been nominated for multiple James Beard Awards for Best Video Webcast (On Location). In 2012, she was the recipient of Saveur Magazine’s Best Food Blog award in the video category.