Although I call this a winter coleslaw, I often make this in the warmer weather as well. Red cabbage makes wonderful coleslaw, although it is sadly often overlooked in favour of its greener cousins. The fact that red cabbage is often served overcooked or pickled has led many folks to believe that it is bitter, but properly prepared nothing could be further from the truth. Nutritionally, it is an absolute powerhouse, high in protective phytonutrients that detoxify, nourish and protect against disease, particularly when served raw. It is also a powerful anti-inflammatory and high in vitamins A and C.
You need to make this salad in advance but this is something I almost always find a benefit, particularly when I am entertaining. It is best to make it the afternoon or evening before the day you wish to serve it to allow the flavours to blend together and for the cabbage to become tender crisp in the dressing. You can shred the onion and cabbage in a food processor if you like, but I often find it is quicker just to slice them finely with a knife than having to wash all the paraphernalia that goes along with the food processor!
half a red onion, finely sliced in half moons
1 red cabbage, cored and finely sliced or shredded
¾ to 1 cup walnut halves
2 tablespoons chopped flat leaf parsley (or 2 teaspoons dried parsley)
4 tablespoons olive oil (Extra Virgin if possible)
3 tablespoons good balsamic vinegar
(I use Apple Balsamic Vinegar when I can get it, but any good balsamic vinegar is absolutely fine.)
1 tablespoon sugar or honey
2 teaspoons wholegrain Dijon mustard
¼ teaspoon salt and one eighth of a teaspoon pepper (or to taste)
Place the onions and cabbage in a bowl. Add the walnuts and 1 tablespoon of the fresh parsley (or 1 teaspoon of the dried) and stir to mix.
In a shaker or clean jar, mix the oil, vinegar, sugar or honey, wholegrain mustard and salt and pepper. Shake until well mixed and pour over the salad. Toss thoroughly.
Cover and place in the refrigerator overnight. Before serving, toss the salad again. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper if you feel it needs it. Garnish with the remaining parsley and serve.