This salad is defined by the salad dressing itself — rugged garlic dressing — from the superb Cabbagetown Cafe Cookbook for a cabbage salad flavor that may even surpass sauerkraut. If you do not have that cookbook, there is an empty place on your shelf that needs to be filled. You may also have to scrap for it since it’s out of print. It is a vegetarian cookbook and so it does not rely on meats and gravies for flavor (the “easy” way to flavor food in my opinion). It is an extremely creative approach to cooking. The flavors are bright and unusual. This recipe showcases the talent of the book’s author.
Mom writes: This recipe comes from one of my favorite cookbooks, Cabbagetown Cafe Cookbook, modified just a bit in my kitchen. This salad is a brilliant concoction for cold months when there is a lack of fresh vegetables. The salad will stay nice in the refrigerator for at least 5 days if it has no dressing in it. Add the dressing for when you are ready to eat. An exception would be toting it in your lunch. Mix in the dressing before you leave home. It’s just easier that way.
8 cups finely shredded red cabbage (about 1 large head)
4 carrots, shredded
1 medium red onion, finely diced
1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped almonds
2 eggs, 1 teaspoon salt
12 cloves garlic and 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 cups light olive oil and ½ cup more of red wine vinegar
1 cup of lightly packed fresh herbs such as chives, parsley, dill, basil…finely chopped
Red Cabbage Salad Dressing
Make the dressing first so the flavors can be blending while you put together the salad. This is essentially a homemade mayonnaise with loads of flavor.
Use a food processor for the amounts given here. They could overwhelm a blender.
Place the eggs, salt, garlic and 2 tablespoons of vinegar into the processor. Whisk until creamy.
Begin adding the oil in a slow trickle. Watch for the change of texture to take place. The mayonnaise will “take” and become thick. Continue whisking as you add the oil and vinegar alternately – in thin streams.
Fold in the finely chopped herbs.
If for some reason the mayonnaise doesn’t “take”, just use it as a salad dressing. None of its superb flavor is lost.
Red Cabbage Salad
Shred, dice, and chop all ingredients.
Toss together in a large bowl. Get an even distribution of component parts.
Just before serving, toss with Rugged Garlic Dressing. Dress only the amount you expect to be consumed at this meal.
Refrigerate the remaining salad in an airtight container. This will keep for several days.
If you put salad in the refrigerator that already has the dressing on it, the colors from the cabbage will “bleed” into the dressing and it is not pretty. I also think the flavor is better if freshly dressed.
Red Cabbage Salad Variation: A Sandwich
Cabbagetown Café turns this into an open-faced sandwich. It is easy to do if you already have the salad and dressing on hand. Here’s How: Butter a piece of sourdough on one side. Place the buttered side down on a cookie sheet. Pile dressed red cabbage salad on each piece of bread and cover with grated Swiss cheese. Bake in a preheated oven of 375 degrees until the cheese is melted.