The Circus Gardener's Kitchen

seasonal vegetarian recipes with a side helping of food politics

red cabbage, apple and cranberry salad

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I am indebted to Nell, who blogs about gluten-free cooking as DeliciouslyNell, for nominating me recently for a “Very Inspiring Blogger” award.

Nell’s nomination was a total, but delightful, surprise!


very inspiring blogger award


The rules of the “Very Inspiring Blogger” award are as follows:

1. As the recipient you should thank the person who nominated you by linking to his/her blog and displaying the award logo;

2. Nominate up to 15 other blogs. Link their blogs and inform them about the nomination;

3. Share three things that inspired you the most this week.


So, having thanked Nell for her nomination let me move on to my nominations.

Amongst a number of great blogs I follow the ones I have decided to nominate are those which most resonate with me – for different reasons, not necessarily food related.

In no particular order here they are:

Edible Roots. Written by Victoria Chilvers. The recipes on Victoria’s blog are consistently inspiring and packed with rich, wholesome flavours.

Photo Journeys by Lesley Treloar. Lesley documents her interesting travels, mostly but not exclusively in India, with some gorgeous photos

The Entwife’s Garden. Written by a friend of mine, Miranda Hodgson, a professional gardener who writes beautifully about gardening, nature and anything else that happens to catch her attention.

Agents of Field. Co-written by Sophie and Ade, this blog is an honest and engaging documentary of the triumphs and occasional disappointments of growing and cooking their own food.

Tabitha’s Gluten Free Dishes. Tabitha writes inspiringly about the transformation that becoming gluten-free has made to her health and her life. She also produces consistently good gluten-free recipes

Fromage Homage. A delightful and often very funny blog written by a turophile (cheese lover) who is determined to search out and try as many British cheeses as she can.


As for three things that have most inspired me this week:

– going for an invigorating cycle ride around a frosty Worcester racecourse with the dog earlier today (just to clarify, the dog – a whippet called Maisie – does not cycle, she merely runs alongside the bike). It set me up nicely for writing/photographing this post;

– visiting the allotment to discover that despite the cold and dark weather my broad beans and garlic plants have pushed their way defiantly through the hard soil, a cheering harbinger of renewal;

– a lovely family Christmas. It has been good for the soul to see my extended family over the festive period and spend quality time with them outside our busy lives.


Right, on that positive note let’s move on to the recipe.

Salads are not generally associated with the dark winter months, but there’s no reason why they shouldn’t be. After the inevitable excesses of the festive period, here’s a simple, wholesome winter salad designed to help restore some balance. It not only does you the power of good, it tastes wonderful too!


Finally, as the year-end approaches I would like to thank each of you who read this blog for your continuing support, and I wish you all a very happy new year.

red cabbage, apple and cranberry salad


1/2 red cabbage
2 organic apples
1 small red onion
75 g dried cranberries
100 g walnuts or pecans, broken into small pieces

for the dressing

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp walnut oil
1 tbsp mirin (rice wine vinegar)
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard


1. Heat a heavy bottomed frying pan or skillet over a high heat, without adding oil. Add the walnuts or pecans and “dry fry” for 2 minutes, tossing the pan gently every so often, until the nuts are lightly toasted. Remove and tip onto a cold plate to cool.

2. Finely shred the red cabbage, apple and red onion and place in a bowl with the dried cranberries. Roughly break up the cooled nuts and add to the salad.

3. Whisk together the olive oil, walnut oil, mirin and Dijon mustard. Pour into the salad and toss.

Categories: dairy free, gluten free, raw, vegan


19 replies

  1. Looks delicious!

  2. I love Winter salads and this looks delicious! Congratulations on the award and a very Happy New Year!

  3. Steve, thank you very much for the nomination, I’m honoured!

    Happy new year and keep writing!

    Miranda x

  4. This looks delicious and thank you for your kind words. Happy new year!!

  5. Hi Tabitha, you’re most welcome, and happy new year to you too!

    Steve x

  6. Hello Steve, Happy New Year to you! Thank you so much for my nomination! What a lovely surprise and great start to the new year. I’ll make my own nominations in my next post – if I could throw a nomination back to you, I would 🙂 All the best, Vic xx

  7. Thanks for the lovely recipe. I made a few small changes, as I always do. I don’t eat raw onions, so caramelized mine and let them cool before adding to the salad. I didn’t have walnut oil or rice wine vinegar on hand, so used all olive oil and apple cider vinegar for the dressing. Fantastic. I have made it twice now. This has become a winter go-to recipe for sure. Cheers.


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