This colourful, zesty pickled red cabbage slaw with pear and walnuts is full of flavour yet contains only a handful of ingredients. It's a healthy, delicious, perfect for the Holiday season.
Red cabbage is a very nutritious vegetable but I tend to avoid it in salads because of its tough often stringy texture. As I recently discovered, however, this problem disappears if the cabbage is left in a light pickling mixture overnight. It can be used already the following day!
As the cabbage is infused with flavour (sweet, sour and salty) it doesn't require any dressing other than maybe a little drizzle of lemon juice or olive oil just before serving. This makes preparation simpler and shorter. All that's left to do is combine the pickled cabbage with the rest of the salad ingredients and serve.
The process of pickling gives the cabbage a vibrant purple colour. It is so much more appealing than a faded purple greyish it would eventually turn without being pickled!
Another plus of pickling the cabbage is that it makes it more tender, but not soggy, still allowing it to retain some crunch, as it is pickled for a fairly short time. This red cabbage salad recipe does not share the life cycle of most salads made with raw ingredients (i.e. from crunchy to soggy). If left to stand for a while, its texture will not change dramatically. So you can leave leftovers in the fridge for a few hours and enjoy them later!
Another salad where I've used lightly pickled red cabbage is festive Christmas slaw with maple glazed pecans.
Pickled red cabbage slaw ingredients
There are 2 sets of ingredients in this recipe. The first consists of the red cabbage along with the pickling ingredients including salt, sugar, vinegar and oil.
The second are the remaining ingredients that go into this salad. They are: pears, red onion, walnuts, lemon juice, cilantro and oil.
How to prepare the red cabbage
This is very easy to do. Remove the tough middle bit from the cabbage and slice it very thinly. Add the salt, sugar, oil and vinegar, stir thoroughly, cover and refrigerate overnight. The following day simply give a good stir and make the salad!
Assembling the pickled red cabbage salad
This simple red cabbage and pear salad is really quick and easy to put together.
1. Combine the pickled cabbage with the pear, red onion, walnuts and cilantro.
2. Drizzle with a little oil and lemon juice, stir, season to taste and enjoy!
- You could either slice the cabbage very thinly, as I have done, or shred it. Whichever method you choose your pickled red cabbage will have a lovely texture, a little crunchy but not tough.
- Storing: Any leftover pickled cabbage can be kept in the fridge in an air tight container for 3-5 days. The salad itself can be refrigerated for up to 4 hours.
- Not suitable for freezing.
This pickled red cabbage slaw goes well with chicken, turkey or pork dishes including leftover meat, in a sandwich (such as turkey salad sandwich) or in tacos and wraps. It's also delicious with fish cakes as well as salmon dishes.
- Pear: Substitute sweet tasting apple if preferred.
- Walnuts: Use pecans, chopped almonds or hazelnuts.
- Cilantro: Fresh parsley or chives would work well, too.
- Oil: I used vegetable oil for its neutral flavour but mild tasting olive oil is a good alternative.
You might also like
- Red Cabbage Juice 3 Ways
- Quick Braised Red Cabbage with Apple & Beetroot
- Red Cabbage Winter Vegetable Soup
- Healthy Crispy No Mayo Coleslaw (Dairy Free)
Keep in touch!
Have you made this red cabbage salad? I'd love to know how it turned out for you. Let me know in the comments below, thanks!
Pickled Red Cabbage Slaw with Pear & Walnuts
- 350 g red cabbage about ½ medium sized cabbage, shredded or sliced thinly
- 2 medium pears ripe but firm, peeled, cubed or sliced
- 1 small red onion very thinly sliced
- ½ cup walnuts roughly chopped
- 2 tbsp cilantro chopped
- A drizzle of lemon juice and olive oil plus zest of ½ lemon
- Pepper to taste
For the pickling mixture
- ½ tsp fine sea salt
- 1 tsp sugar
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 4 tbsp cider or wine vinegar
- Coarsely grate or slice (thinly) the cabbage (without using the tough middle bit of the cabbage which can be chopped up and added to soup). Combine the pickling ingredients and pour over the cabbage stirring thoroughly. Cover and leave in the fridge overnight.
- To make the slaw combine the cabbage with the pears, cilantro, red onion, walnuts, season to taste and drizzle with oil and lemon juice. Scatter the lemon zest over the top and serve.
*Nutritional information is automatically generated and should be considered as an estimate.
**A note about baking: If using a fan-assisted oven refer to your appliance's instructions and adjust the temperature accordingly.