Red Cabbage Salad with Poppy Seed and Caramelized Onion Vinaigrette

Red Cabbage Salad with Poppy Seed and Caramelized Onion Vinaigrette Recipe

The crunch, the color; everything about this dish screams summer. Shredded red cabbage is a real eye grabber, and the vinaigrette helps brighten up the flavor of the dish. I flavored the vinaigrette with mustard, pickled garlic, sugar and a little sour cream for a velvety texture. I was inspired by my butter chicken recipe, where I fried onions, drained the oil, and mixed in sour cream. You don't have to add sour cream to the vinaigrette, but otherwise it's too healthy.


Yields: 6

2-1/2 cups red cabbage
1 shallot
1 yellow onion, chopped
1/4 cup canola oil
2 Tbs Honey Dijon mustard
2 Tbs sugar
6 Tbs champagne vinegar
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1 Tbs pickled garlic
1 Tbs sour cream
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/8 tsp black peppercorns, freshly ground
1/2 cup grapeseed oil (or any other neutral oil)
3/4 tsp poppy seeds
2 cups water
1 pinch red pepper flakes
2 Tbs rice vinegar
1-1/2 Tbs brown sugar
1 tsp salt
1 Tbs cilantro, coarsely chopped


For the vinaigrette:

In a mortar and pestle, coarsely grind the poppy seeds. If you don't have a mortar and pestle, you can simply use a rolling pin.

In a small saucepan , heat up the canola oil. Cook the onions until nicely golden (may take 5-10 minutes). Drain and reserve the oil and set the the fried onions aside.

In a bowl, dissolve the sugar in the champagne vinegar. Add the dry mustard, honey mustard, salt and the pickled garlic. Mix well. Set aside.

In a blender or a mini-blender if you have one, mix the fried onions, the sour cream and the mustard mixture a thick paste (add a tablespoon of water if it's too thick). Add the onion oil, the grapeseed oil and the poppy seeds. Finish with salt if necessary and pepper.

For the cabbage: 

In a small saucepan, dissolve the brown sugar, red chili flakes, salt and rice vinegar in water. Heat up the liquid until everything is dissolved. Allow to cool down completely.

Quarter the cabbage through the root. Coarsely shred the cabbage using the appropriate blade of a food processor.

Place the cabbage in a large bowl. Add the sweet vinegar mixture. Toss thoroughly. Set aside for about 20 minutes.

Drain and discard all the liquid.

Assembly time:

When you're ready to serve, drizzle some poppy seed and caramelized onion vinaigrette. Garnish with cilantro. You can also add pecans and cubed Granny Smith for more crunch.

Bon appétit!


Check out my other vinaigrette recipes.

You can use fresh garlic instead of the pickled garlic but the garlic flavor is going to be a lot stronger. You can find it in any Asian store.

You can easily find poppy seeds in any Indian stores; they're very inexpensive.

Published By: Jacqueline Pham on May 28, 2009.


[-] Red Cabbage - Guest-Elyse
Maybe it's weird, but I ADORE red cabbage--and really any cabbage for that matter. This salad looks delicious! I love that it's a healthy, summery treat that packs a huge flavor punch. Delish!

Elyse Website Link
[ Posted at 8:39 PM on 5/29/09 | Reply ]
[-] cheffresco - Guest-cheffresco
Yum! We love making cabbage salads/coleslaw. Yours is such a nice, deep red!

cheffresco Website Link
[ Posted at 5:21 PM on 5/30/09 | Reply ]

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