Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Red Cabbage and Fennel Salad with Creamy Wasabi Dressing

Nothing says winter to me like red cabbage salads. Perhaps its the vibrant color that brings me out of my doldrums or possibly remembrance of lives past when I am certain my Teutonic and Nordic ancestors ate entirely too much cabbage pulled from their root cellars. Or maybe it is just my sentimental side that loves the idea of eating a salad that is composed of vegetables that would have come from a root cellar, if I had one. Of course the cilantro is a tad out of season for a winter salad, but happily not where I live!

Red cabbage combined with tangy buttermilk and yogurt makes this salad feel creamy and decadent but the sour punch and spicy kick remind you that this is more vegetable than creamy dressing so you are free to eat as much as you like.

I easily could have thrown in some toasted nuts or seeds - walnuts, cashews, sunflower seeds - for a bit of texture and crunch, but I resisted, allowing the sweet cabbage and fennel to shine all on their own. If you dislike cilantro, parsley would also pair nicely with these flavors.

Red Cabbage and Fennel Salad with Creamy Wasabi Dressing

3 cups red cabbage, shredded
1/2 large fennel bulb, cut thinly and halved
1 stalk celery, diced
1/3 cup red onion, diced
2 tablespoons cilantro, minced
1 tablespoon wasabi mayonnaise (or combine 1/2 teaspoon powdered wasabi with 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
3 tablespoons plain yogurt
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon cayenne powder
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon salt

Combine dressing in jar or measuring cup and blend well. Place vegetables in bowl and pour dressing over all, tossing to coat. This salad improves with age even if you let it sit for just 30 minutes, but overnight is best.


Recipes currently inspiring me:

Ottolenghi's Potato Tart Tartin at Stacey Snacks
Star Anise Glazed Tempeh with Stir-Fried Peppers at Eats Well With Others
Creamy Mushroom and Roasted Cauliflower Soup at Closet Cooking


Pam said...

I love cabbage salads and this one sounds fantastic.

Reeni said...

Red cabbage is one of my favorites! You've added some amazing flavors to it Kirsten! xoxo

Joanne said...

I rarely make cabbage salads because I have dressing issues but...wasabi. Amazing.