Sometimes I hear people say winter produce is dull and colorless. And I get it. When we're in the depths of a dreary winter, we miss the sweet, juicy berries, melons, and tomatoes and the memory of warm, sunny days these foods evoke.
But between the citrus, winter squash, pumpkins, persimmons, pomegranates, leafy greens, cabbage, and root veggies, winter's edibles are far from lifeless. In fact, call me crazy, but I think they're as colorful and abundant as summer produce. And this salad is proof.
Eating fresh, bright salads like this is a favorite winter pick-me-up strategy. If I can't have sunshine outside, I'll make my own on the plate. And that's what I hope this salad accomplishes for you too. (And in case you're wondering, yes even Madrid has bad winter days.)
In Switzerland I was introduced to the fabulous Conehead cabbage. I fell in love with its cone shape, sweet flavor, and tender bite. When we moved to Spain, I was sad to leave it behind (secondary to my friends, of course). Fast forward five months to the depths of winter, and I discover Spain likes the Conehead too! Now that was a good day.
Salad cups are my favorite use for this cabbage, but it's also great sliced and tossed with other salad greens, sautéed, or thrown into soups. The recipe today makes for a light, minimalist lunch or a stunningly, whimsical side dish to a larger meal.
The creamy avocado, juicy grapefruit, flaked salmon, herbacious chive and cilantro, and crunch from pomegranate and cabbage blend together nicely. I was pleasantly surprised how much I loved this, but even more surprised how much my husband loved it. As we were eating, he kept saying "this is really good, the flavors are really good".
And it is. I hope you give this salad a try and bring some winter sunshine into your own kitchen soon!
Purple Cabbage Cups with Flaked Salmon & Avocado
Serves 2 -4
Notes: Green Conehead cabbage works as well. If you can't find Conehead cabbage, other tender cabbage leaves, little gems, or endives can be used as cups instead. No pomegranate? Use toasted pine nuts or pumpkin seeds instead.
- 1 (100-140 gr. / 4-5 oz) salmon fillet
- 2 grapefruits, supremed (juice reserved)
- 1 large avocado, sliced
- 1 small bunch (20 gr) cilantro, chopped
- 2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/8 tsp. salt
- 2 Tbsp. chopped chives
- Seeds from 1/2 Pomegranate
- 4 leaves of Conehead cabbage
- Preheat oven to 176 C/ 350 F. Place salmon fillet on lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and a few pats of ghee or drizzle of olive oil. Cook for 10 minutes, or until center is just cooked through. (Cook time will vary depending on size of salmon.) Cool slightly, then flake into pieces.
- While salmon cooks, prepare the salad. Place remaining ingredients (excluding cabbage) in a medium bowl, reserving some cilantro, chives, and pomegranate for garnish. Add a splash of grapefruit juice and toss gently to combine. Fold in flaked salmon.
- Gently peel away 4 large cabbage leaves and fill with salad. Garnish with remaining cilantro, chives, and pomegranates. Enjoy!