Warm Cabbage, Craisin and Quinoa Salad

March 31, 2012

I live with a cabbage lover. It’s true.

Not often does one come across a cabbage lover. They’re a mysterious breed.

Ever since first visiting Baan Dada and experiencing the beauty that is the mother’s wok-fried cabbage and tofu dish (sent straight from some holy place, I swear), Ben has been all about cabbage. We don’t eat it too often, as I generally do the food shopping in our household and although I enjoy a little cabbage in my life, it’s not exactly at the top of my vegetable lust list. I tend to forget about it and favour cauliflower – what can I say? But every now and then we get cabbage fever and go all out, and it will be cabbage for days! Cabbage stirfries naturally surface as the first option, but once we’ve satisfied that craving we like to move on.

Earlier this month, I had a bunch of cabbage to use up – I told you Ben loves it, right? Yeah, well on this occasion, Ben did the shopping. And he bought two cabbages. The dude needs help.

Enter this warming salad – the salad to end all cabbage lulls. To inspire you to view this sometimes sad, flatulent vegetable as fun, dignified and exciting. Let’s face it, not often do we think of cabbage as the life of the party. But in this dish, cabbage makes an effort to steal the spotlight. It’s wonderfully crunchy, with a great balance of sweet and salty. We kind of love it. And I was quite happy to let the cabbage take over the stage and be the star here. It deserved first billing. Plus, everyone’s heard of quinoa now, haven’t they? Yeah, old news.

For all the cabbage lovers out there, who buy multiple cabbages at once, this one’s for you.

Warm Cabbage, Craisin and Quinoa Salad

Serves 6-8 as a side salad

Ingredients

Quinoa

1/2 cup dry Quinoa
1/2 cup Water
1/2 cup Chicken Stock (or Vegetable Stock for vegetarians), plus a splash extra for the cabbage

Salad

3 teaspoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil, for cooking
1/2 head Cabbage, sliced into long slithers
1/4 cup Pinenuts
1/4 cup Almond Slithers
1 small Onion, diced
2 cloves Garlic
2/3 cup Peas, defrosted
1/2 cup Craisins
1 large handful fresh Parsley, chopped

Dressing

1 tablespoon Pomegranate Molasses (from gourmet grocers or middle-eastern delis. I get mine from Red Hill Cellars, Oakleigh Market or Oasis Bakery)
1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 Lemon, juiced

Method

1. Rinse the dry quinoa under cold water using a fine sieve, then put it in a pot with the water and stock. Bring to the boil then let it simmer down for ~10 minutes, adding more water if required. You will know it is cooked when the grain starts to separate and the liquid is mostly absorbed. When the quinoa is cooked, turn the heat off and pop the lid on for ~10 minutes to allow any remaining water to absorb. After 10 minutes, fluff the cooked quinoa with a fork, then cover and set aside.

2. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a large non-stick pan over medium heat. Add the cabbage and cook until it is soft but has a nice golden, “pan-fried” appearance to it (add a splash of stock to the pan if it gets dry). Transfer the cooked cabbage to a bowl and set aside.

3. Heat a small non-stick pan over low heat and toast the pine nuts and almonds for a few minutes until golden and fragrant. Once toasted, set aside.

4. In a small jar, combined the molasses, oil and lemon juice. Whisk together and taste – add more molasses for a sweeter dressing, or dilute it with water if it’s too strong for your liking.

5. In the large non-stick pan, heat 2 teaspoons oil over low-medium heat. Cook the onions for 3-5 minutes until soft, then add the garlic and cook for another minute until fragrant. Add the cabbage and peas, and heat through. Next add as much cooked quinoa as you desire (you might like to save some for lunch the next day, as I do!) along with the toasted nuts and craisins. Stir to combine then turn off the heat.

6. Add the parsley, then drizzle the dressing (adding as much as you desire) and toss to combine. Serve alongside some grilled fish with a glass of crisp white wine.

Heidi xo
  • denitapreston March 31, 2012 at 9:09 am

    Ooh I will definitely be making this! I have been on a quinoa frenzy lately – but this recipe sounds so different and very appealing.

    Can't wait to try it! xx

  • Lisa (bakebikeblog) March 31, 2012 at 9:30 am

    love the addition of craisins in this!!!!

  • Michelle Chin March 31, 2012 at 10:18 am

    i haven't had cabbage for a bit. it gives me really bad stomach ache!

  • Heidi March 31, 2012 at 11:05 am

    de – are they as mad about Quinoa in the states as we are here, de? xo

    Lisa – me too! hehe.

    Michelle – yes it tends to do that… 😛

    Heidi xo

  • Kari March 31, 2012 at 1:05 pm

    I am definitely not a cabbage lover but I think I could love this salad. Craisins always help, in my view, in raising a salad from plain to jazzy!

  • CC11 March 31, 2012 at 2:23 pm

    Hahah poor cabbage, but it is healthy so the more yummy recipes for it the better (I do tend to only use it for okonomiyaki so definitely needed more options).

  • Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella March 31, 2012 at 3:24 pm

    Hehe that's very cute! Two cabbages too? He really is a cabbage lover! They do take a while to get through but with a dish as delicious as this, perhaps not! 😛

  • Hannah March 31, 2012 at 3:44 pm

    Cabbage lovers represent! I've been eating cabbage almost every night for a really long time, partly because it's cheap, partly because I love it. I need to be creative like you with it, though. You – inspiring 🙂 Pomegranate molasses!

  • msihua March 31, 2012 at 8:37 pm

    I love cabbages as well! Yum yum yum!

  • Hannah April 1, 2012 at 12:12 pm

    Craisins make every salad delightful! I should totally "get my cabbage on", hehe 🙂 x

  • Heidi April 1, 2012 at 5:37 pm

    Kari – agreed 🙂

    CC11 – oooh I love okonomiyaki! Have never made my own though – inspiration!

    Lorraine – hehe thanks, lady 🙂

    Hannah – holla! Love that stuff. Thanks, lovely 🙂

    Msihua – high five!

    Hannah – hehe you should indeed 🙂

    Heidi xo

  • Ames April 1, 2012 at 6:29 pm

    Interesting combination, not something I've heard of before… haven't done much with cabbage I must admit but quinoa love all the way! Will give this a try when I next get hold of some cabbage 🙂

  • Julia @ Boredom Abounds April 1, 2012 at 7:20 pm

    Yum. I recently tried quinoa in a salad recently and loved it!

    Belated congratulations on your wedding though – everything looked stunningly gorgeous!

  • Nic@diningwithastud April 2, 2012 at 2:43 pm

    What a great combo – sounds delicious

  • Heidi April 3, 2012 at 6:48 am

    Ames – wonderful, I hope you like it!

    Julia – thank you, lovely 🙂

    Nic – thanks!

    Heidi xo

  • Blithely Unaware April 3, 2012 at 11:24 am

    I'm OBSESSED with putting cabbage in my salads, it's such a great alternative to a green.
    Must admit I haven't done it warm in a salad yet, but that's SUCH a good idea with winter looming!!!

    xox

  • The InTolerant Chef April 3, 2012 at 5:27 pm

    I'm with Ben, I'm a true cabbage lover! Great recipe, and it's sure to make cabbage even more delicious!!

    Ps. Sorry my comments are a bit hit and miss, but with yours and another (wordpress)blog I am only able to connect on my work computer for some reason my home one is blocked,it drives me up the wall but I always catch up!

  • Heidi April 4, 2012 at 10:04 am

    Blithely Unaware – yes SO nice & wintery & comforting!! do it 🙂

    InTolerant Chef – that's so fine, hope it's not my site or anything that's playing up! Thanks for the recipe love 🙂

    Heidi xo