Apple Cabbage Salad with Brown Sugar Cider Vinaigrette

The perfect strong salad to pair with chili or other hearty fall favorites. 

It is officially chili season, and in my house we are thrilled! Is there any better cozy meal to warm you from the inside out? But with chili comes a need for a few side dish options. Now I will admit that I have generally embraced my husband’s preferred manner of chili consumption over the years, which is to layer your bowl with cheddar cheese and, um, corn chips, and call it a day. Yes, this is clearly delicious. But I do feel obliged to put vegetables on the table as often as humanly possible, so…

Fortunately this salad is completely delicious and very hearty for fall. I made this last week to go with a pretty classic beef and bean chili, and I absolutely love all of the colors – pretty punches of red from the apple peels, deep purple from the cabbage, rich green from the lettuce, etc. This picture simply doesn’t do it justice, which is a reflection on my photography skills, not on the salad. I really liked the dressing as well, and it was super quick to whip up by hand in a measuring cup right before serving – always nice.

With that, I’m off! Keeping this short and sweet, because I have been battling a bad cold for the past week, and am worried that my refusal to get sufficient rest has allowed it the opportunity to morph into a sinus infection or something else nasty. Gah. So, if anyone has any suggestions or remedies, other than hunkering down under blankets with medicine and tea and praying that Henry stays content to play with toy cars and pots and pans for yet another hour… I’m all ears!


Apple Cabbage Salad with Brown Sugar Cider Vinaigrette
Yields 6-8 servings

Ingredients:
5 cups thinly sliced red cabbage (about 1/4 of one medium head)
4 oz. red leaf or romaine lettuce, torn or sliced into strips (about 1/2 of a small head)
2 medium apples, diced small (crunchy, crisp varieties are best, like Honeycrisp or Gala)
2 medium carrots, peeled into ribbons
2 cups finely chopped cauliflower
4 tbsp. oil (I used walnut oil and really loved it; canola, vegetable, safflower, or almond oil should all work as well)
1 1/2 tsp. brown sugar
1/4 tsp. dijon mustard
3 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
pinch of fine sea salt
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup pepitas or pumpkin seeds, toasted

Directions:
Combine the cabbage, lettuce, apples, carrots, and cauliflower in a large serving bowl. Toss several times so that the carrot ribbons tangle with the cabbage and lettuce, and the apple cubes and cauliflower bits are distributed throughout, not just settled at the bottom of the bowl.

In a small bowl or liquid measuring cup, combine the oil, brown sugar, and mustard; whisk until smooth. Add the vinegar, salt, and pepper; whisk again until the mixture emulsifies into one dressing. Pour the vinaigrette over the salad, scatter the pepitas or seeds into the bowl, and toss once more to combine everything. Serve immediately.

If you might have leftovers, hold off on the vinaigrette and pepitas, to make sure the salad does not become soggy and the pepitas do not lose their crunch. Either add these individually by serving, or dress only part of the salad right away. Refrigerate the undressed salad in an airtight container or ziplock bag for up to 4 days.

Source: Barely adapted from Choosing Sides and The Kitchn

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