Apple Cranberry Cabbage Salad

I love this salad. It’s something of a cross between a waldorf salad and a slaw … but without the heavy, gloppy mayonnaise. I originally made it for our lab picnic earlier this summer (along with this Rhubarb Cobbler Cake) as I had a head of cabbage from the CSA box. And I made it again this week because I found myself with another head of cabbage and because I am love with apple season. It’s got some serious tang – the dressing has two different vinegars in it but is balanced by the sweetness of the apples, cranberries and sweet and spicy walnuts.

It feels hearty, because for some reason in my mind cabbage has much more substance than lettuce, but not heavy. A great dish for the transition into autumn. I’ve been savoring the local Ginger Gold apples and they are great in this salad because they keep well once cut (i.e. won’t turn brown). I used half a head of cabbage and it was perfect for two decently sized salads … but this is easily scaled up if feeding more than a mouth a or two.

Apple Cranberry Cabbage Salad

**********
1/2 head of cabbage
1 apple
1/2 cup dried cranberries
2/3 cup sweet and spicy walnuts, recipe below
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
salt and pepper, to taste
**********

Thinly slice the cabbage. Peel, core and thinly slice the apple into large, bite-sized pieces. Throw in a bowl with the dried cranberries and sweet and spicy walnuts.

In a small jar (I think this one had red curry paste in it originally) combine the olive oil, rice vinegar, apple cider vinegar and dijon mustard. Salt and pepper to taste. Give it a good shake.

Pour dressing over salad and toss. It doesn’t get that much easier or delicious.

Sweet and Spicy Walnuts

makes ~1 1/2 cups

I love, love, love these nuts. Sometimes I used pecans instead and will throw them on salads or eat straight out of the jar.

**********
1 1/2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups walnuts
freshly ground black pepper
dash of cayenne pepper
**********

In a small pan, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Add the sugar and walnuts, black pepper and cayenne pepper. Stir until the walnuts are evenly coated and the peppers are distributed. And wait. Eventually (~5 minutes) the sugar will start to melt. At that point, make sure to be constantly stirring the walnuts into the melted sugar until all of the sugar is cooked and the nuts are evenly coated, about 2-3 minutes.

Transfer to wax paper to let cool. You can store these nuts in a jar for a couple of weeks.

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