Simple pleasures: a red cabbage, stilton and walnut salad (with caramelised red onions)

Our late night supper

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…

First time we've truly eaten raw red cabbage - we normally braise it in the traditional way or stir fry it

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).

Our surprise recipe that I know we can be really proud of

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.

Devils on horseback - devilishly good.

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!

Salads truly don't need to be boring.

Lots of love

Thebigfatnoodle

The caramelised red onions in this salad were sensational

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

Toasted walnuts are another of my favourite ingredients

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.

Red cabbage, stilton and walnut salad. Simply divine.

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Comments
28 Responses to “Simple pleasures: a red cabbage, stilton and walnut salad (with caramelised red onions)”
  1. Looks great. I always think red cabbage looks great, I just wish I liked it 😦

    • From your other comments about Brussels sprouts, it sounds like you’re generally not a cabbage fan. I know others that aren’t either do no worries. I found the red cabbage to be much sweeter than I thought and I loved the crunch but everyone has their own tastes 🙂

  2. spicegirlfla says:

    All my favorite ingredients are in this salad! So colorful and healthy! I love the wrapped prunes! Fabulous weeknight dinner!

  3. Dalai Lina says:

    Sometimes I get a huge head of cabbage in my CSA box(Community Supported Agriculture) and I have no flipping idea what to do with it so it sits in my refrigerator for 6 months until it has been reduced to a black, liquidy mess. This is the perfect solution. Bacon solves all problems.

  4. What a lovely salad BFN; we ladies with the men who cook are so fortunate! Devils’s on Horseback! I’ve been making these for years, yet never knew what they were called. We had a party a few years ago where we had about 50 people to the house, I had made several dozen of these little gems (as well as several other things). My best friends husband called me the next day to apologize! When he got home from the party, he found over 20 of the toothpicks in his pocket…he stood by the table all evening, just popping the little devils! What a great name, I’m going to tell him right away!

    • Yes I feel very blessed to have a husband who loves cooking as much as I do. He’s also a much better cook than me. I only tried devils on horseback when I first moved to the uk and they are sooooo moreish!

  5. lulu says:

    I would never have thought about doing this with red cabbage, but it looks delicious and I love all the accompanying ingredients. You get an A for creativity on this one.

  6. I love the inclusion of bacon. It makes the salad!

  7. Charles says:

    Those pieces of bacon are almost calling my name 😀 Great looking salad – I love, love, LOVE cabbage and although I’m not a huge fan of stilton on its own, when it’s in a soup or a salad it makes a delicious zingy addition!

    • I love cabbage too and was very happy to find I love them raw as much as I love them cooked. Stilton’s quite a strong cheese and I used to find it too much sometimes but the brand we got this Christmas was divine.

  8. Oh my goodness this looks yummy, so many exciting flavors going on in this salad. Thanks for sharing with us even though you have late work nights. Take Care

  9. I just love red cabbage.. well I like any cabbage lol. And the bacon in this dish just makes it look more exciting. Wonderful recipe

  10. Great colours, and bacon – yum!

  11. Karen says:

    Your salad looks absolutely beautiful. What wonderful flavor combinations.

  12. The devil’s on horseback are a genius touch to this fabulous salad. Great photos as well.

  13. I am always on the look out for red cabbage salad recipes.
    This one sounds amazing.
    I know what you mean about working odd hours..I go through the same thing and it does get to you sometimes

  14. Nutritious + delicious + beautiful = I’m hungry for it *right now*.

  15. sweetopiagirl says:

    Reblogged this on Inspiredweightloss.

  16. Just happily connected to you site via Cecila’s site.

    I’m a cabbage fiend and this dish looks delish. Especially love the addition of caramelized onions.

    Cheers!

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