23 August 2011

Cabbage Salad with Cucumber and Red Peppers, covered with Red Wine Honey Dressing

Once upon a time there was a woman who had only two relationships with cabbage. The first involved creamy mayonnaise. The second involved a old southern recipe passed down in her maternal blood line called fried cabbage. She loved those dishes. She still does. But health and an increasing waist line forced her modify her relationship with cabbage. Can you guess who the woman is? You're right! I can't put anything over on you. What I've realized about cabbage that I never knew before in my fried and mayonnaise induced Jimmy Hendrix like haze is that cabbage actually taste good.
Therefore, the goal for a while has been to lighten up this leafy green filled with more micronutrients and phytonutrients then I can repeat here. The first step always has to be the elimination of any heavy dressing like coating. The second step, mainly for me, is that fried is only an option rarely!. Then we attempt to enhance cabbage's flavor, which is done by the latter two, but also with flavor enhancing food accompaniments. As a result, you get a tasty healthy cabbage gift that everyone will love. I hope you enjoy this new take on cabbage. Me and my family certainly do.

Did I happen to mention my cabbage cost $1.00; cucumbers less than $.20 each; red pepper $.70 each; jalapeno less than $.10; and the basil (well I can't even calculate the cost because the total bunch was a $1.00, and I only used a handful of leaves) Basically this salad cost me less than $3.00 from the farmers market (that's not including the homemade salad dressing)!
*Cabbage Salad with Cucumber and Red Pepper covered with Red Wine Honey Dressing
Serves 4-6
* denotes notes about the recipe below

1 small Green Cabbage diced or shredded
1 medium Red Pepper diced
5 small Cucumbers diced
1/3 fresh Jalapeno finely diced (optional)
1 bunch fresh Basil (hand torn)

In a large bowl add Cabbage, Red Pepper, Cucumber, and Jalapeno. Mix thoroughly. Add one handful of hand torn basil leaves, and the full amount of the Red Wine Honey Dressing (recipe immediately below). Stir content of bowl again thoroughly. Place the salad in the refrigerator uncovered for 1 1/2-2 hours to allow salad and its contents to soak in the dressing. Stir occasionally. Serve chilled. 

*Red Wine Honey Dressing
This recipe was given to me by a friend over 12 years ago. I have no idea where she got it.
* denotes notes about the recipe below

1/2 cup Red Wine Vinegar
1/2 cup Honey
2 tbsp Soy Sauce
2 tsp fresh Garlic chopped
2 tsp fresh Ginger chopped
1/4 tsp Black Pepper

Mix contents in a bowl (or another such item that can easily pour) in the order indicated above. Stir very well, about 2-3 minutes blending all the ingredients together. Use immediately.

-Instead of jalapeno you can substitute1-2 teaspoons crushed red pepper to give the salad spice.
-Instead of basil you can substitute the same amount of cilantro as indicated in the recipe
-If you're not interested in making the salad dressing, a store bought vinaigrette or Asian sesame dressing would do nicely.
-The Red Wine Honey Dressing is more than enough for the salad. You'll notice once the salad is refrigerated and the dressing settles to the bottom. Prior to serving, feel free to drain any excess salad dressing using a colander.
-I believe this salad is best the following day. If you decide to serve it the day after its preparation, make sure to place in the refrigerator covered.



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