Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Shredded Red Cabbage Salad with Pistachios


So.  After my less-than-appetizing, injury-inducing attempt at kicking off So Cal Summer Salads, I am here to present you with a true winner.  Oh yes, this salad is Delicious (and I meant to use that capital D). 


In fact, this salad is so delicious, that I am eating it right now as I am writing this.  And I am not eating it for the first time, or the second time; but rather, I am eating this salad for the third time in as many weeks because it is so simple to prepare, and is such a welcome departure from the norm of lettuce-based salads.  And did I mention yet that it is delicious? 


I found this recipe while paging through James Peterson's Cooking.  The recipe seemed to jump off the page at me, because I was just so shocked at seeing the bright purple cabbage combined with beautiful green pistachios.  They seemed like unlikely bedfellows there on the page (in full color photograph of course), and I was intrigued enough to try out the recipe.  It also helped that I only needed to purchase two ingredients, the cabbage and the pistachios, and I happen to adore both of them already.  Separately, of course.  I mean really, cabbage and pistachios together?  




Maybe I was doubtful because I had never actually tasted these ingredients together before; but, taking a more global view of the recipe, I suppose it parallels any other salad I might toss together that has pecans or walnuts.    


Since I have already sung the praises of this salad at the beginning of this post, you already know that the pistachios and cabbage compliment each other beautifully in taste.  But lets also talk for a minute about texture.  Uncooked cabbage is tough, and definitely crunchy, although not necessarily in a good way.  Adding the salt and squeezing the cabbage softens it just the right amount, to the point where it is morphs into being crunchy in a very good way.  Actually, the snap of the cabbage combined with the toothsome bite of the pistachios is what really sold me on this salad.  



So lets recap.  Reasons why this salad is awesome: 
-You might already have everything in your fridge and pantry to make it.  If you don't, the ingredient list is short.
-It is healthy, and still manages to taste delicious. 
-The time it takes to make is negligible, since most of the time the cabbage is just sitting being salty, while you are sitting with your feet up, having an after work drink and/or reading your new issue of Bon Appetit and/or feeling great that you can make something healthy and tasty with so little effort.
-The colors are bright and unique.  
-It has pistachios. 
-It has sesame oil.
-I did not cut myself while making it.
-It has pistachios. (Yes, I have said this twice.)

Have I missed anything?  In case you haven't guessed from the three times that I have made this already, I love this salad and I will be eating it on regular rotation throughout the summer.  I think you should do the same.  





Shredded Red Cabbage Salad with Pistachios
Adapted from James Peterson's Cooking
Cooking


1 cup pistachios (depending on how much you like pistachios) 
1 small red cabbage, outer leaves discarded
2 tablespoons salt
1/3 cup sherry vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons sesame oil 
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon canola oil
Freshly ground black pepper


Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and toast pistachios on a baking sheet for 10 minutes or until they are fragrant. Transfer to a plate and let cool.


Meanwhile, quarter the cabbage through the bottom, cut out the cores from each quarter, and thinly slice (here, thinner=less crunchy, thicker=more crunchy; choose what you prefer).  Transfer all the cabbage to a large bowl and sprinkle with the salt.  Using your hands, work the salt into the cabbage by rubbing and tossing until the cabbage doesn't feel gritty.  Move all the cabbage to a colander, and let it drain for 30 minutes.  Then, take handfuls of the cabbage and squeeze them tightly to remove as much excess water as you can, and transfer each handful to a new bowl.  Repeat for all the cabbage.  Add pistachios to the bowl, along with vinegar, both oils, and ground pepper to taste. Mix well and serve immediately.  If you plant to serve it later, keep the pistachios separately so they don't lose their firmness. 

43 comments:

  1. Maybe I'm crazy but I don't find red cabbage hard to chew. I really just like to it raw straight from the fridge. But now I'm kind of annoyed my dad finished all of the pistachios yesterday. This sounds weird and goood.

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  2. I love this salad...Can see why you have repeated it:)

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  3. This looks really good and I think cabbage needs a face-lift...this recipe sounds like it does the trick! I love anything with sesame oil in it...yummy!

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  4. Mmmmm......love red cabbage AND pistachios. I think I'll have to try this out!

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  5. I love both pistachios and red cabbage, I am going to give this recipe a try!

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  6. I am a sucker for anything with sesame oil! And you're right - this is a gorgeous dish.

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  7. MMMmmmm I love red cabbage, I swear it has a much more savory and sweet taste than green cabbage! How creative to pair it with pistachios, the colors are wonderful!

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  8. It looks stunning, I love pistachios. Great picture.

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  9. Cute Post! I love salads like this. Contrast and great flavor! Red cabbage is often overlooked and I don't know why. It's one of our favorites!

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  10. What a unique salad! I love the ingredients of this. And I'm like Abby, love me some sesame oil!

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  11. Oh what a lovely salad, I never think of eating this red cabbage! such a great combo of flavors!

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  12. I like this--I don't think I've had red cabbage in a salad in years.

    It's funny you say you didn't cut yourself because tonight I did! :-) I was chopping some celery in a hurry. I've been in love with pistachios, too, lately.

    Nice post again!

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  13. Pistachios are such a terrific addition to red cabbage, excellent salad!

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  14. AR cool! Now I know what to do with my red cabbage... thanks! :)

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  15. You need not say a word more, I'm totally sold on this salad not only does it look amazing it's quick and easy to make oh and the best part, yes... the pistachios. Yum!

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  16. I love how simple this is, and how delicious it sounds! Can`t wait to make it! Theresa

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  17. Definitely a plus that you didn't cut yourself making this one! It looks great and sounds even better. Sesame oil has my attention.

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  18. The Polish side of my loves cabbage!

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  19. I will definitely have to try this - it sounds and looks (!) fabulous! Thanks!

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  20. This is amazing! My mom makes a similar salad, but not with pistachios! So yumm!

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  21. There's a lot of crunch going on in the salad! :P I love cabbage with vinegar, and the color contrast between the green (pistachios) and red (cabbage).

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  22. I love the contrast of flavors and textures with the cabbage and the pistachios! I'm not a salad person but I've bookmarked your recipe. :)

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  23. Congrats on the top 9! btw, do you have a twitter?

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  24. This salad is stunning! I love cabbage salad and I'm a bit obsessed with pistachios.

    And a big congrats on making the Top 9!

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  25. Beautiful. So to clarify, after the cabbage is salted you don't rinse it with water?

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  26. This is really visually stunning, and I'm sure it tastes great, too. I love red cabbage for that super-saturated color. My mom made this healthy slaw last week I posted a recipe for that's not quite as pretty, but pretty good, too! Check it out:
    Health Salad


    - Lauren, Lauren's Little Kitchen

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  27. Jean: So sorry you cut yourself! I feel your pain, hope you are on the mend. :)

    Barrister: Ah, the eternal Twitter question... I dont have Twitter yet, but because I have been asked about it many times I guess it is time to join the cool kids and get an account. Look for me soon!!!

    Nirmala: Yes, after the cabbage is salted you do not rinse it, just squeeze out the water that will naturally leech out from the cabbage.

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  28. That salad is to pretty to eat - but it looks delicious!

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  29. That is a beautiful color match. And I bet the flavors and textures are quite complementary too.
    LL

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  30. The color is really unusual and is a nice from it staid old green cousin. I've bookmarked this and will probably make to provide "red" on our table for the 4th of July. I hope you are having a great day. Blessings...Mary

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  31. Oh YUM! Nice little recipe for red cabbage.

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  32. A scrumptious combination! That healthy salad must taste wonderful!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  33. This looks absolutely mouth watering! It's definitely right up my alley!

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  34. Oh my gosh look at the beautiful colors! That sounds so simple and delicious! :)

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  35. Wow, nice salad...red cabbage and pistachio...love the vibrant color of it...yummie!

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  36. Absolutely wonderful looking salad - all the crunchy elements and the simplicity make it perfect.

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  37. What a beautiful salad: the colours are amazing and the blend of flavours sound delicious!

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  38. I love a good slaw and this one looks fantastic! The colors are just brilliant!

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  39. But does it have pistachios? Hmmm....

    Seriously, it looks great!

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