Colorful Strawberry Cabbage Salad
This colorful strawberry cabbage salad makes a festive side dish for summer barbecues and will also liven up the everyday lunch.
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Salads! Do you love them or just eat them to get your veggies in?
Personally, I love them, but it has also become a habit in our house to serve a side salad with most dinners. It’s just such an easy way to help make a plant-forward, half-plate veggies meal.
Strawberry Cabbage Salad
While arugula and spinach usually make up the base of my salads, lately I’ve been trying to branch out a bit. Enter this Strawberry Cabbage Salad. It was inspired by a recipe for “Thai-ish Cabbage Salad” in the lovely “First Mess” cookbook by Laura Wright.
In my house, I often refer to this salad as “Rainbow Salad” because it’s so colorful. It’s also a reminder that you can use any colorful veggies or fruits that you have on hand to get this eye-popping end result.
I like that it uses red cabbage as the base since this is a veggie I tend to get often in my summer farm share and one that I would like to include more often in my family’s meals. Not to mention, it’s so pretty!
This salad is not complete, in my opinion, without the dressing. The best part is that unlike with green leafy salads, you can dress this salad and it will still keep for several days in your fridge. In fact, the salad gets more flavorful as it combines with the dressing, making it a good one to prep a day before a barbecue or to keep on hand for your lunches that week.
Of course, if not everyone likes dressing you can serve it on the side too. (Yep, my kids like theirs on the side when possible.)
Spotlight on Red Cabbage
In addition to its beautiful color, which it gets from anthocyanins, red cabbage:
- May lower your risk of cardiovascular disease.
- High in vitamin C, a vitamin that is important for the immune system and repairing damage caused by everything from exercise to environmental toxins.
- High in fiber. Fiber is needed for optimal digestive health. It helps with everything from maintaining regular bowel movements and feeding the healthy bacteria in our gut known as probiotics.
- Good source of potassium and vitamin A.
For this recipe, you can finely slice the red cabbage with a chef’s knife or use a mandoline to help you out.
Spotlight on Strawberries
In addition to being sweet, juicy, and just plain delicious, strawberries:
- Are high in antioxidants such as polyphenols and vitamin C.
- May lower your risk of cardiovascular disease and protect against cancer.
- Are high in fiber.
- Are a good source of manganese and potassium.
When possible, choose locally grown and/or organic strawberries. But remember, any strawberries are better than no strawberries!
Colorful Strawberry Cabbage Salad
- 1/2 head red cabbage, finely sliced or shredded about 4-5 cups
- 2 medium carrots, peeled into slivers
- 1 yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 1 cup strawberries, sliced into strips
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives or scallions
- 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, chopped or whole
- 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped or whole
- 1/4 cup roasted and salted sunflower seeds (you can also use plain sunflower seeds and toast them until fragrant in a skillet)
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2-3 tablespoons fresh lime juice about 3 limes
- 1 clove garlic, finely minced or grated
- 1/2 inch fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated
- 1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup
- 1/8 teaspoon salt to taste
- freshly ground pepper to taste
- In a large salad bowl, combine cabbage, carrot strips, bell pepper, strawberries, chives, mint, basil, and sunflower seeds. Toss to combine.
- In a small jar with a lid, combine olive oil, lime juice, garlic, ginger, honey, salt, and pepper. Seal with the lid and shake until well combined. (Alternatively, you can whisk it together in a small bowl).
- Toss salad with about half the dressing. Taste test and add additional dressing and salt/pepper as needed. (Salad will keep with dressing for about 3-4 days in the refrigerator; extra dressing will keep for about a week in the refrigerator).