Not only is this pretty-in-pink red cabbage salad dinner party-worthy, but it is also full of anti-carcinogenic properties.
This red cabbage salad with fennel is an impressive salad to make for a dinner party. The crunch of the cabbage, the aromatic fennel and dill with the crunch of the hazelnuts and the pretty pink raspberry mayo are a superb combination.
I came across the dressing for this salad completely by accident, by mixing up the raspberry vinegar and the red wine vinegar. What a great surprise!
The health benefits of red cabbage?
Red cabbage contains the powerful antioxidant anthocyanin, which is what gives all red and purple vegetables their vibrant colours.
Studies have shown that anthocyanins slow cancer cell production, kill already formed cancer cells, and stop the formation of new tumour growths.
What makes red cabbage red?
Red Cabbage has dark reddish-purple leaves outside with a red and white interior. It tastes a little deeper and earthier than green cabbage.
The colour of the leaves of the red cabbage comes from the pH levels of the soil in which it’s grown, as well as the pigment that comes from the nutritionally valuable anthocyanins it contains. In acidic soils, the leaves usually grow more reddish, while in neutral soils, they grow more purple. Red cabbage needs well-fertilized soil and sufficient humidity to grow at its best.
How to make this salad
1Prep your red cabbage
Wash your cabbage well, remove the outer damaged leaves, cut it in half and remove the core. Shred finely using a mandoline / v-slicer, your food processor with the slicing attachment or with a very sharp chef’s knife.
2Prep fennel and dill
Cut off the bottom of the fennel bulb, then peel off any wilted or damaged outer layers. Keep part or all of the stems on as an additional safety guard for your fingers (cut off the fennel fronds to chop up later). Rinse well to remove any dirt. Shred finely using a mandoline / v-slicer, or with a very sharp chef’s knife.
Chop the reserved fennel fronds to get ¼ cup otherwise wash and chop your dill instead.
You can place your red cabbage and your fennel in separate bowls and cover with cold water, keep them in the fridge for half an hour as this will make them crisper and will remove some of the musky cabbage smell.
Leave them in the fridge overnight if you are going to assemble your salad the following day. Then drain in a colander and run some cold water over them to rinse away the cabbagey smell. Strain them well before using.
3Make raspberry mayo
Add all your raspberry mayo ingredients to a small food processor or high-speed blender, season with salt and pepper then blitz until combined.
4Assemble your salad
Place the drained fennel and the red cabbage, the dill, the hazelnuts in a large mixing bowl, add the mayo, season with salt and pepper. Then massage the dressing through your salad until it is evenly distributed and well combined.
Arrange in a salad bowl, scatter with the additional hazelnuts and chopped raspberries to garnish, then serve.
To allow the flavours to develop you can cover and refrigerate for half an hour if you like.
Some Dinner party mains for this salad
This oh-so scrumptious red cabbage salad with its pretty in pink dressing is best served with white meats such as chicken or pork, is great with ham or even a whole baked fish.
Try it with…
- Whole Baked Snapper
- Bacon-wrapped Pork Scotch Fillet Roast
- Herby Roast Chicken
- Burnt Honey & Whiskey Roast Ham
- As a vegan option try Whole Stuffed Pumpkin
Some more dinner party salads to try…
- Mandolin or V-Slicer
- Small Food Processor or High-speed Blender
- 500 grams red cabbage (approximately 5 cups shredded and tightly packed)
- 460 grams fennel (approximately 2 medium bulbs)
- ¼ cup fennel fronds or dill leaves1 (tightly packed)
- ½ cup hazelnuts
- Sea salt & cracked black pepper
- ⅔ cup whole egg mayonnaise2 (I like S&W or Hellmans)
- 4 tbsps raspberry vinegar
- ½ cup raspberries
- 2 tbsps hazelnuts (roast for extra flavour)
- 2 tbsps raspberries (fresh or frozen to garnish)
- Wash and trim your red cabbage and fennel. Keeping them both separate slice them both thinly on mandoline / v-slicer or with a knife. Place the fennel in a bowl and cover with water until you are ready to assemble your salad.
- Cut off the fennel fronds and chop until you have ¼ cup alternatively use some dill if the fronds on your fennel are sparse.
- Add all your raspberry mayo ingredients in a small food processor or high-speed blender season then blitz until combined.
- Place the drained fennel, the remaining salad ingredients and raspberry mayo in a large mixing bowl, season and then mix until well combined.
- Arrange your salad in a salad bowl, scatter the extra raspberries and hazelnuts on top then serve.
- Whether or not you use dill will depend on whether or not your fennel bulbs have fronds.
- If you are feeling adventurous – try our homemade mayo recipe.