A winter salad

We’ve just had four wonderful weeks away in India – sunshine, spices and a world full of colour. Hopefully there will be something from that trip to feed into the cafe menus before long.

However, the one thing I really missed was our salads. Here’s a simple recipe for a  carrot and cabbage salad with a cumin and orange dressing.  It appears regularly on our menus in Hereford and Cambridge. Just the thing to liven your palate on a drab January day.

1kg carrots
1 large green cabbage – either Primo or Sweetheart
70ml fresh orange juice
140ml white wine vinegar
250ml sunflower oil
2 tbs cumin seeds
pinch of cayenne pepper

1. Grate the carrots finely – it just doesn’t taste the same if you do it coarsely
2. Take the tough outer leaves off the cabbage, quarter it, take out the core and then slice very finely.
3. You can use the cabbage either raw or briefly blanched – I prefer it blanched. Bring a large pan of water to the boil. Put the cabbage in for one minute (longer and the salad will be ruined) and then drain.
4. To make the dressing: Put the cumin seeds in a small frying pan and heat until they are browning and smelling delicious but not burning. Tip them out of the pan as soon as they are done so they don’t keep cooking. Then mix them with the orange juice, vinegar and oil. Dean (manager at All Saints) recommends warming the dressing ingredients before mixing with the veg to bring out the full flavour of both the dressing and the veg.
5. In a large bowl, mix the dressing very thoroughly with the carrots and cabbage – insufficient mixing is a common problem with this type of salad.

This makes enough to feed a dozen people but it will keep happily in the fridge for a few days.