crunchy winter cabbage and fennel salad

I am always surprised how much cabbage is actually in a head of cabbage. I guess I think it looks like a head of lettuce, and plan out portions accordingly. But cabbage (as I’m sure you’ve long since figured out) is much denser. In other words, when you buy an entire head of cabbage, there is a lot there to play around with. So whenever I make cabbage dish, I’m almost always left with a quarter that doesn’t make it in.  

 I had made some sauteed cabbage earlier in the week, and had the expected, yet unplanned, chunk left over. Too much to throw away, not enough for making something on it’s own. Luckily I had an equally lonely fennel bulb, and two orphaned celery sticks.

The result was this salad. Winter salads are always a challenge. Lettuce seems too wan and tasteless, and oil and vinegar is nothing to get excited about. But all these crunchy winter vegetables play very nicely together, especially when dressed with a slightly sweet, fruity dressing. And the coriander seeds add just the right touch of exotic earthiness.

Crunchy Winter Cabbage and Fennel Salad
serves 4 as side dish

1/4 head Red Cabbage
1 bulb Fennel
2 stalks Celery
1 1/2 teaspoons Coriander Seeds, crushed

Slice the cabbage into 1/4 ribbons.
Slice the fennel length wise, through root end, into 1/4 inch slices
Slice celery into 1/8 inch slices, cross wise.
Place all three vegetables in a serving bowl.

1/4 cup Pomegranate molasses
3 tablespoons Lemon juice
3 tablespoons orange juice
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon honey

Pour pomegranate molasses and honey into small bowl. Stir to mix well. Then add lemon juice, and stir with fork to blend (honey and molasses are kind of thick)
Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well, adjusting for salt and pepper.

Pour over salad, and add crushed coriander seeds. Toss.
I like to let any cabbage salad sit for about 20-30 minutes (no longer!) so that the cabbage wilts a just a bit.

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  1. says

    As if you had been reading my mind! I just made your purple cabbage recipe last night (loved it, thank you) but have a big ‘ol hunk left over and was feeling mediocre about a typical asian type slaw salad.

    Now, just one question: in Provence I can’t find Pomegranate molasses. I fooled around with some ideas last night but do you have a suggestion for a substitute? I would be grateful!

  2. says

    I mean this sincerely and respectfully, but I had never ever even heard of pomegranate molasses until I started reading this blog. They don’t exactly carry it at Costco. I’m kind of fascinated by your repeated use of it, and also kind of amused. Do you find it easily in Rome? It’s not what you’d call a staple in the States.

  3. says

    P molasses is pretty much a staple in Mid E. Avail in US (probably Europe, too) in ethic mkts & some chains. Try, Lexington/28, NYC, a treasure of aroma & hard-to-find products. Cortas, fr Lebanon, is a well known brand.

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