Simple pleasures: a red cabbage, stilton and walnut salad (with caramelised red onions)
Simple pleasures = happiness
It has been way too long since I posted a salad recipe and I’m doubly happy about this one because it was a fluke and a surprise. It was also a joint creation with my husband (making it that much more memorable) and something that we threw together in haste (and hunger!) late at night after work yesterday.
But before the recipe, a bit of context… one of the things I hate about my work is that I’m not really able to control the hours I work sometimes. On a good day, I can make it home before 7.30pm and on bad days; well… your guess is as good as mine.
Don’t get me wrong, I actually love my day job but the hours can wear one down sometimes; what makes it seemingly worse is that odd working hours make it that much more difficult to try and stick to any kind of healthy eating plan. But I know that many of you are in exactly the same boat so I’m really not trying to moan too much. Gone are my parents’ days of old when a 9 to 5 was truly just that…
Last night was one of those nights and, on top of that, my husband had been suffering from an evil headache all day, which had only dissipated just before I got back. The long and short of it was that neither of us had really thought too much about supper. My husband’s proposal was going to be to reheat some left over chilli con carne but make a small side salad to go with it.
As we were STILL working our way through food we’d bought for the holidays, he’d read about a red cabbage salad and thought we should try making one using red cabbage. By the time I got home, he’d finely sliced some red cabbage and chopped some celery, caramelised a red onion and toasted some walnuts (without being corny, what he did last night through a headache is yet another reason why I love him to bits :)).
All that was left to do was to think about a salad dressing and what else we could add to jazz this salad up. Our solution: reheat the last of our devils on horseback, go through our cheese box and whisk up a salad dressing.
The result : our red cabbage, stilton cheese and walnut salad (with caramelised onions).
The only thing I can say to vouch for this salad’s deliciousness is this: this salad was so satisfying that I ate it as my main meal and completely skipped the chilli con carne.
The sweet dressing, enhanced by caramelised onions, was a perfect accompaniment to the raw red cabbage and celery, and the stilton cheese and toasted walnuts just, well, worked! The devils on horseback provided the additional saltiness and fruitiness to offset the red cabbage and stilton but I also know that if I make this again, some parma ham and fresh pears or apples will work just as well. And if I wanted a vegetarian version, I’d roast some mushrooms to add instead.
I guess the component parts of this salad might still not be considered exactly healthy but I feel better eating this late at night rather than junk or fast food. And again, we’ve now managed to use up all of our red cabbage and just have a tiny bit of stilton left. A happy tummy, an even happier wallet (since no additional money was spent) and we’re another step closer to cleaning our fridge out. As for my husband, he loves this salad too but is actually happier that my mood’s lifted, making his home life much, much more peaceful. LOL.
Here’s the recipe below but as we originally weren’t planning this as a ‘recipe’, there are no real quantities provided. It being a salad, you can put as much or as little of the ingredients in as you like!
Lots of love
Red cabbage, stilton and walnut salad (with caramelised red onions)
Red cabbage, finely sliced or shredded
Celery, finely sliced
1 red onion, sliced and caramelised (gently fried in a saucepan in garlic oil for roughtly 10 mins)
Stilton cheese (or your favourite blue cheese)
A handful of walnuts, toasted lightly
To make the dressing, whisk the following together:
3 tablespoons of good virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 – 1½ tablespoons lime or lemon juice (we only had limes)
2 teaspoons of runny honey
a good pinch of salt
a good pinch of freshly ground black pepper
To make devils on horseback
Wrap pitted prunes in streaky bacon and roast in a 180 degree (Celsius) oven for between 25-35 minutes until the bacon’s crispy.