This citrus cabbage salad is essentially a cabbage coleslaw. It’s crunchy, sweet, tangy, and a great side dish to serve alongside your choice of protein.
I can’t be the only one who starts getting tired of all the soup and heavier meals in the middle of winter. Sometimes I just want to go outside grill something, these Greek lemon chicken skewers to be exact, and make a fresh salad to go with it.
While the grilling may not happen as often as I like because it’s either dark at 4:00 pm, freezing outside, or the grill is covered in snow, salads happen multiple times during the week.
This citrus cabbage salad was a welcome pop of color, crunch, and fresh citrus flavor. It’s essentially coleslaw that uses a citrus vinaigrette versus a creamy dressing.
The segments of oranges and grapefruit are a great way to incorporate seasonal winter produce and they add a delicious sweet tart flavor to the salad.
Ingredients For Citrus Cabbage Salad
- red cabbage
- grapefruit – Ruby red is my preference since it’s sweeter
- red onion
- pomegranate seeds
- champagne vinegar – can be substituted with white wine vinegar or white balsamic vinegar.
- honey – substitute with maple syrup to make this salad vegan
- dijon mustard
- ground cumin
How To Make Citrus Cabbage Salad
Start by cutting the red cabbage, also called purple cabbage, in half and cutting out the core. I then like to cut the half in half again. This makes the slices more bite sized.
The cabbage slices should be fairly thin, about 1/4 – 1/2 inch thick. Depending on the size of the head of cabbage you may only need to use half of it. See my tips below for how to select and store cabbage.
Next, thinly slice the red onion into half moons and add them to a serving bowl with the cabbage. Cut the peel off of the grapefruit and oranges making sure none of the white pith remains.
Use a knife to cut the citrus segments out from in between the membranes. Don’t toss the membranes because you’ll be squeezing the juice from them to use in the vinaigrette. Add the pomegranate seeds, cilantro, and pepitas into the salad.
To make the vinaigrette, use your hands to squeeze all of the remaining juice from the membranes of the oranges and grapefruit into a glass measuring cup or bowl. You should end up with approximately 1/4 cup of juice, give or take.
Whisk the vinegar, honey, dijon, olive oil, salt and pepper in with the citrus juice and then pour half of it over the salad. Toss everything together and add more vinaigrette as needed.
As with coleslaw, I find that this cabbage salad tastes best if you let it sit in the fridge for 15-30 minutes so that the flavors can marry together and the cabbage wilts a little.
How To Select and Store Cabbage
- A head of cabbage should be heavy, firm, and have tightly bound leaves.
- Make sure the leaves don’t have any blemishes and aren’t wilted.
- Peak season for cabbage is between November and April.
- Store a head of cabbage in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator. An uncut head of red and green cabbage will keep for about a month.
Can I Use Green Cabbage Instead Of Red For The Salad?
Green cabbage isn’t as sweet as red/purple cabbage. You can use green cabbage, but expect it to taste a little more bitter. My preference is to stick with the red cabbage.
What To Serve With Citrus Cabbage Salad
- Chimichurri Grilled Chicken
- Baked Green Chile Chicken
- Hawaiian Chicken Skewers with Cilantro Coconut Rice
- Italian Sloppy Joes
- Everything Bagel Chicken Tenders
- 6 cups finely chopped red cabbage
- 1 grapefruit, peeled and segmented
- 1 orange, peeled and segmented
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
- 1/3 cup pomegranate seeds
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- 3 tablespoons toasted pepitas
- Juice squeezed from leftover orange and grapefruit pulp (about 1/4 cup)
- 1 tablespoon champagne vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
- Cut the cabbage in half and cut out the core. Cut the halves in half and then slice them thinly like you would for coleslaw. Place the cabbage in a large serving bowl.
- Thinly slice the onion into half moons and add it in with the cabbage. Segment the orange and grapefruit, but don't discard the membranes. Add the citrus segments to the cabbage.
- Add the pomegranate seeds, cilantro, and toasted pepitas to the salad and then make the vinaigrette.
- Pour half the vinaigrette over the salad and toss everything together. Taste for seasoning and add additional vinaigrette as needed. Cover the salad and refrigerate for 15-30 minutes before serving so that the flavors can marry.
- In a small bowl or jar with a lid squeeze all of the juices from the remaining grapefruit and orange membranes. Add the remaining vinaigrette ingredients to the juice. Whisk or shake until thoroughly combined.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 173Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 134mgCarbohydrates: 29gFiber: 7gSugar: 17gProtein: 4g
Nutritional information is an estimate. Please consult a registered dietician for the most accurate nutritional information.