cabbage, apple and walnut salad

Today might have started off as Pie for Breakfast Day but I think we all know that the day after Thanksgiving is all about detox. Away with the heavy cream! Begone, you cheesy gratins! Skedaddle, you deep, gooey casseroles, sticky-sweet yams topped with charred marshmallows and green beans with fried onions. Please, don’t make me eat that butter and drippings-laden gravy again… at least until tomorrow.

Detox Day deserves its own dish, and though it is a tad late to get this one in for dinner tonight, I would like to offer up this cabbage, apple and walnut salad as the antidote to a meal that sent us back to the store for more butter and heavy cream not once but three times. (Gasp! My arteries!) This salad is perfect–it has all of the flavors of the season, but also a crunchy healthfulness so missing from the week’s main event, oh and also that slice of pie we know you’re having for dessert anyway.

ahoy, savoy

Cabbage Salad with Apples and Walnuts
Adapted from Chez Panisse Fruit, via Cookstr

This salad is great as it is, but I am already itching to hack the recipe. I’d imagine that some snipped chives or perhaps a pinch of fresh dill would be great, or maybe some diced celery or maybe even a tablespoon of creamy horseradish swapped for the creme fraiche. This recipe is infinitely tweakable.

Serves 6

1 small savoy cabbage
1/3 cup walnuts
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons creme fraiche or heavy cream (we used sour cream)
2 apples (any crisp, tasty eating variety, such as Sierra Beauty, Granny Smith, or Fuji)
1/3 cup crumbled blue cheese (optional)

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Tear off and discard the tough outer leaves of the cabbage. Cut it in half and cut out its core. Slice the halves crosswise into a fine chiffonade.

Toast the walnuts in the oven for 8 minutes. While they are still warm, first rub them in a clean dishtowel to remove some of the skins, then chop or coarsely crumble them.

To prepare the dressing, mix the vinegar with the lemon juice, some salt, and a generous amount of pepper.

Whisk in the olive oil and then the creme fraiche or cream. Taste and adjust the acid and salt as desired.

Quarter, peel, and core the apples. Slice the quarters lengthwise fairly thin and cut these slices lengthwise into a julienne. Toss the cabbage, apples, and walnuts (and blue cheese, if you’re using it) with the dressing and an extra pinch of salt. Let the salad sit for 5 minutes, taste again, adjust the seasoning as needed, and serve.

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59 comments on cabbage, apple and walnut salad

  1. lacrema

    Um, or pie for breakfast, mid-morning snack, mid-afternoon snack, and bedtime treat? That crust tutorial made my week. I will try this recipe once I’m through with the leftovers. What do you do with your turkey/ham/what-have-you? I think I’m going to make croquettes with the mashed potatoes, a pot pie with the turkey, and I am betting I won’t get to the ham before my hubby eats it all one sneaky mouthful at a time.

  2. The Teen Chef Anna

    I eat pie for breakfast too I’m so tired that I give in. What do you do with your leftovers? I eat them just like thanksgivng and they are so so delicious. I wish I would of had this recipe this mornig because it would have been great for my mom’s after shopping relaxation.

  3. I decided to make pumpkin parfaits, despite your recent lovely crust tutorial. So I had pumpkin parfait for breakfast. Would have also had it for lunch if there were more left.

    I love cabbage and this recipe looks great, and just the thing for post-thanksgiving.

  4. SAS

    I didn’t get to use my delicious organic cabbage that I had intended to use as fresh slaw with our bird, potatoes, cranberries, rolls, corn souffle and dressing .. something had to go! So, this is a perfect fun and new way to use my lovely little head of pale cabbage. Thank you!

  5. That’s pretty much the only reason I make apple pie at Thanksgiving… to have it for breakfast. This salad does seem a bit more reasonable for meals though. And since we apparently consume an additional 618 calories a day between Thanksgiving and Christmas, a nice cabbage salad is just the thing to keep us all from having to buy new pants.

  6. That sounds like a great detox dish, thankfully (as we don’t do Thanksgiving in the UK) I don’t have to start a detox until after Christmas, or maybe until 2009!

  7. Hi Deb,

    Thanks for another delicious salad recipe! Your site is always my go-to for salad ideas when we’re feeling a little bored with what’s been happening in the big bowl. We made this today with gorgonzola: it was awesome.

    A quick (and pretty silly, unrelated) Australian question for you – we were wondering today if Americans traditionally prepare turkey for both Thanksgiving AND Christmas, or is it just Thanksgiving?

  8. Susan

    Ah, a salad…finally. I’m ready to lighten up after all the rich food of the past two days. This looks great, almost like a Cole Slaw. I’ll take mine on some corned beef and rye, please. Oh! That’s that’s not light, is it?

  9. kastinkerbell

    Since pumpkin is a squash and squash is a vegetable, we always referred to pumpkin pie as “vegetables.” I *loved* having vegetables for breakfast.

  10. deb

    Ling Ling — I haven’t heard anything about Menu for Hope this year, but I will think about it.

    Lexi — I don’t celebrate Christmas, but I know that turkey is more of a Thanksgiving thing.

  11. Lucy

    @Lexi–Our family serves turkey at Christmas and wouldn’t dream of doing otherwise. In fact, the whole Christmas dinner is really just a rehash of Thanksgiving. I know a lot of other people who have the same dinner, but also a lot of people who do something totally different (crown roast, e.g.).

  12. I’m a party pooper, I detoxed all week. Juicing….. made a carrot souffle! from the carrot pulp left over from juicing. Smart huh? I’ve been using the veggie pulp from juicing to make soup stock and stuff, in an effort to waste nothing.
    i just couldn’t stand the idea of suffering the post heavy dinner inflamation I always get, so I played it light and cooked cooked cooked to make up for the eat eat eat :)
    So this salad is on the menu for this week.

  13. Thank you Deb and Lucy! I’m obsessed with international eating traditions and I just recently bought my first copy of (air-freighted) Bon Appetit magazine with the Thanksgiving special.

    And thanks again for the super salad, Deb. Am bummed about the last day of NaBloPoMo – it’s been excellent.

  14. Salma

    Hi. This is so not related to the salad, but I’m hoping that since that is your last post, commenting/ mailing here might get me a reply, and soon *crosses fingers*

    Ok, so I’m a novice wanting to make a wedding cake. And your marv. attempts at the same have played a part in brainwashing me into thinking that I can do it… so now please help me out with a question… I have many, actually, but for now, I’ll restrain myself…

    Have you ever tried baking any of your Sky-High cakes using a substitute for cake flour? I’m assuming you wouldn’t have since it’s easily accessible, but may be, just may be, you might have tried the unbleached all-purpose flour+ cornstarch substitution that so many talk about, just because you are an adventurous sort, or since you are into culinary experiments, perhaps, or may be even because it’s fated that I’m gonna ask you this question and you will tell me that heyy, it works just fine, so go ahead and use it in my vanilla and chocolate buttermilk cake recipes! (where, incidentally, I’m already subbing milk+vinegarfor buttermilk, and 1 tablespoon instant coffee granules in 1/2 cup water for every half cup of freshly brewed). Yes, I live on the outskirts of civilization, and yes, the unavailablity of all these ingredients has gone to my head, in the bad way, i.e., and that is why I sound like a retard. Otherwise, I’m not a nutter. promise:P

  15. deb

    I used cake flour, because it is easy for me to find. I don’t see any reason why making your own wouldn’t work. Making your own buttermilk is no problem, either. The only trick is to let that sit for at least 10 minutes, so it really curdles and gets that buttermilk tang.

  16. Yum! It’s funny because I made a near-identical salad on Thanksgiving with pecans instead of walnuts. People kept insisting it was “slaw” simply because it was made with cabbage!

  17. Karen

    I made this last night, adding 5 chopped green onions. It was a little flat so I added another tablespoon or so of lemon juice. Definitely improves upon sitting around a bit. Last night it was good, for lunch today it was really good.

  18. This was our dinner tonight… I added in some chopped fennel bulb and we used local, fresh hazelnuts and pecans instead of walnuts and a super sharp white cheddar instead of the blue cheese. It was heavenly to crunch away on something that was not laden with butter or bread or any of the other things that I have had way too much of over the past week! Thanks for the inspiration Deb!

  19. beth

    I swapped the walnuts for the spicy candied pecans you made a while back and opted for gorgonzola. I’m crunching away as I type this!

  20. I don’t think I’ve ever commented, though I read you religiously. Love your blog!
    Anyway, I wanted to mention that if you germinate walnuts they are much yummier. Just soak them for a day, changing the water a few times throughout, then lay them on paper towels to air dry, and all the bitterness will vanish. If you do germinate them, you have to keep them refrigerated because they’re more vulnerable to bacteria.

  21. Debbie Lee

    That really looks yummy… somehow after a big heavy meal, something really nice & light & healthy is just what the body craves. Don’t you agree?! (But detox is def a necessity too!)

  22. I made this dish last night, and it was so good! I’m really anxious to have the leftovers tonight with dinner as I think it will have gotten even better after sitting overnight in the fridge. Thanks for sharing!

  23. The culinary powers of the universe are all aligned apparently, as my game of Internet hop scotch has landed me on your delightul doorstep. Even more kismet-ty in nature is I just picked my second to the last savoy cabbage and thought, “hmmm, now what new thing could I do with you?” Bramleys are in the fridge, walnuts rest in the tin and leftover cream and blue cheese need a new purpose. Dinner is served! (note to self: buy lottery ticket today.)

  24. Taylor

    Would this be as delicious if made with napa cabbage? I can’t find savoy! And I know this is supposed to be detox but I was thinking of adding a teeny bit of crumbled bacon. Is that so wrong?

  25. deb

    Yes, Napa cabbage is very similar to Savoy in texture and seems to be more available this time of year. I am sure bacon would be great as well. Can I come over?

  26. I prepared this salad with feta, and prosciutto on the side, to serve at a dinner of four. I used half & half instead of pure cream. Accompanied by your olive-feta salsa.

  27. made this last night. used golden raisins instead of apples, because i didn’t feel like driving through the foot+ of snow to get apples. it was absolutely delightful.

  28. Abby

    This sald was great! I added a rib of celery and some dashes of cayenne pepper. The cayenne rounded out the flavors nicely.

  29. I made this tonight for a party. Everyone loved it! I added about 1-1/2 teaspoons of sugar to the dressing and used gorgonzola instead of blue cheese.

  30. Adrianne

    I want to make this for dinner–would you suggest adding anything to make it more substantial aside from cheese? The only cheese I have on hand is gouda and I don’t think it would meld too well with the dressing. What about crispy salt and pepper tofu?

  31. Lynne

    Made this for lunch and it was excellent. I sliced/julienned the cabbage and apple on the mandolin, which took about a minute while I waited for the walnuts to toast in the oven. I had no cream of any kind so I ended up adding a tablespoon of almond butter and 2 teaspoons of honey and the dressing was perfect. Thanks for a lovely idea–I’ve been trying to use up this 1/2 head of cabbage for a week! :)

  32. Heidi

    this was soooo good. my honeycrisps weren’t as flavorful as I’d hoped, added a tiny bit of sugar. maybe wouldn’t have needed it if I had let the salad sit a bit longer. the blue cheese crumbles made it amazing. so good and crunchy. highly recommend this. fall apples would have hit the flavor I was envisioning perfectly. made it for a crowd, ate it with BBQ chicken sandwiches, everyone loved it. thanks!

  33. R. Burt

    Too acidic for my taste, and too much of an olive oil taste. I added a bit of my old standby dressing with mayo, OJ, and a bit of sugar to cut the taste a bit. Next time I will use my dressing and skip the olive oil dressing. I already use mayo made with olive oil, so I’m getting the healthy oil that way. Also, I added dried cranberries to it, so this is a sweeter version. I thought about adding feta, but don’t know if that would work out. I skipped the blue cheese idea, but may try the feta in the leftover salad tomorrow.

  34. Kellie

    I made this today, and it was delicious! Thanks Deb for introducing me to the world of cabbage salads, looking forward to trying out the cabbage and lime salad with roasted peanut later this week! =)

  35. Maddie

    finally got around to making this- so good! i added some fennel slivers and cut everything up real small and it was excellent :) thanks for another great recipe, deb!

  36. Katie

    My grocery store has a ‘salad bar’ with some freshly made salads that are quite good. They put out a new one – apple, radish & blue cheese slaw – that was delicious! In searching for a recipe for something similar, I found this! I will make this with the blue cheese & the addition of radish slices and I’m sure it will be as good – probably better – than the grocery store version. Thanks!

  37. Peggy

    Doubled the recipe and used Napa cabbage as only that was available. Brought to my neighborhood’s holiday progressive dinner. Only a few bites were left and people commented on how they loved the blue cheese and lightness.

  38. I just made this salad yesterday and it hit the spot. I used a harder, white cabbage and it stayed beautifully in the fridge. I also added some dried dill. Thanks!

  39. Shane Jackson

    I made this! And I loved it! The kids even ate it as they knew I’d made pancakes for desert! Only negative was they all told me it was too sour! I then added a touch off sugar over the top, but put sultanas in it to try and counter the sourness. I thought I’d followed the recipe, so maybe some sugar (i know its wrong) in the dressing, or sultanas or currents in the salad. Love your site, and my wife loves the day she introduced me to it! Thank you!!

  40. MER

    This salad is inspired, and adapts easily to substitutions. Today’s version was made with regular old cabbage, granny smith apple, oil/vinegar/S&P and some yogurt. I had no cheese or walnuts, but sprinkled with the last of a batch of dukkah. It was delicious, crunchy & fresh!

  41. Kat S

    Rarely do I find your pictures uninspiring, and I’m so glad I didn’t let the seemingly monotone pictures scare me away. I made this with feta, and a bunch of my CSA produce (cabbage, apples, and walnuts!) and it was a great dinner! It made too much dressing for my tastes, but I’m sure the remaining dressing after the other half gets used on tomorrow’s dinner will be good on another salad too!