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.