Purple Cabbage Salad

Our world is white.

Winter white. Clean and fresh and cold.

Christmas songs are ringing in my head and my internal seasonal excitement monitor has kicked up a notch.  Oh – it’s coming. Fa-la-la-la-la  la-la-la-la.

On Saturday morning we woke up to that first thrilling snowfall of the year. Even before I got out of bed and looked out the window, I could feel that the light outside was different. The world was bathed in a soft, bright white blanket.

Purple Cabbage Slaw

There is a stillness to that new snow that muffles all the little snippets of sound floating about. It is quieter than quiet. Soft and hushed.

Purple Salad, and the House at Evening

For a few days the world was magical and everything looked so new and different.

Comical even.

Purple Cabbage Slaw, Winter Wacky Weeds

We basked in the excitement of the new season. The dog frolicked in the fluffy white stuff. We inhaled the cold air.

Purple Salad, and Snowy Winter Berries

Everything so pretty and clean.

But then it got serious. Freezing cold. -16 degrees Celsius.

And today it blizzarded all day. The roads are terrible, snow needs to be shoveled, vehicles are sluggish, and snowpants and boots need to be dug out in earnest.

It has arrived.

Purple Salad and a Snowy Winter Day

I tried to capture the blowing snow in the photo. It didn’t show up so well, but believe me it was there, stinging and sharp and real.

And when everything is so wild and white outside, I crave to be inside, measuring and chopping and cooking. And I crave color.

Purple Salad

Like the color in this purple salad. Bright red cabbage and orange carrots come together to create a vibrant jewel-toned slaw.

I make this often in the summer, and today I was trying to remember summer. It suddenly feels far away. (Was it really only a little over a week ago that my toes were digging in warm tropical sand?) This is really not so much a recipe, as a method – and a lazy one at that. It is my quick, last-minute salad.

Easy-peasy lemon squeezy. (I lie. You don’t even have to squeeze a lemon for this one.)


My sister, Rosalinda, gave me the idea years ago. Four ingredients plus salt and pepper. Throw the veggies in a food processor, toss with dressing and salad’s done. You can play with the amounts, throw in any ratio of carrot to cabbage. I just give measurements to start you off. I don’t add any other ingredients, but you could add a bit of onion or apple or whatever. My family likes it with quite a tangy zing, so I use the three tablespoons of vinegar, but if you don’t want it quite so cheek-puckery, start with two tablespoons and go from there.

Purple Cabbage and Carrot Slaw

Purple Cabbage Salad

Serves 6

  • 1/4 of a large head of red cabbage (about 1 lb. or 450 gms)
  • 3 – 4 medium carrots (about 1/2 lb. or 225 gms)
  • 2 – 3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp (2.5ml) sea salt
  • 1/4 – 1/2 tsp (1.25-2.5ml) pepper

Cut the core from the cabbage wedge, then chop it into a few large chunks. Peel and trim the carrots, then chop them into several large pieces.

Put them into the bowl of a food processor and pulse several times until a chunky uniform texture is reached. Careful though, one pulse too many and you have mush. This is really the only tricky part of this recipe. If your processor is not really large, process the carrots and cabbage separately, then combine them in a bowl.  That way you will have more control. You don’t want your food processor bowl more than 1/4 to 1/3 full, so you can control the texture. (If it’s too full, you have mush at the bottom of the bowl and huge chunks at the top.) And if you don’t have a food processor or mini chopper, shred the carrots on a grater and finely chop the cabbage.

Drizzle with the olive oil and red wine vinegar. Season with salt and pepper. Toss well and serve.

A hot coloured salad for a cold winter day.

Guten Appetit! 

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