Look on the light side

Now is a great time to try a salad with substance.

Red Cabbage Salad with blue cheese, walnuts, and oranges is a great salad to try in the new year. — Alison Shaw

It has been a great holiday season with tons of great food and cheer. It is now a new year, a new decade, and perhaps we should begin with a good cleansing start with a hearty winter salad. A salad like this can be a great side for a winter soup or stew or it can replace a starchy side with your main course. 

This salad was inspired by my time at cooking school in Burgundy, France. I was there in late fall many years ago. The salad was made warm with blanched red cabbage and served warm. I love the crunch of raw cabbage, so I created this version, which is uncooked.

Red Cabbage Salad with Blue Cheese, Walnuts, and Oranges

Serves 4

⅓ cup fresh orange juice
¼ cup aged balsamic
Salt & pepper
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
4 cups finely shredded red cabbage
3 navel oranges, peeled with a knife and segments sliced out
¾ cup toasted walnuts
½ cup crumbled good quality blue cheese

For the dressing, heat the orange juice until just hot in a small saucepan. Add vinegar. Remove from heat and pour into a small mixing bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Whisk in olive oil to emulsify. Place the cabbage, orange segments, and walnuts in a salad bowl. Pour in dressing and toss well. Gently fold in blue cheese and serve.

From “Vineyard Harvest” 2005 Broadway Books