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Warm Red Cabbage Salad with Bacon and Goat Cheese

Comments:  An excellent first course before a winter meal, especially for the holidays.  Thick-cut bacon, with its chewy texture, makes a real difference here.  Serves 6 as a first course.

1 small head red cabbage (about 1 ½ pound)             6 ounces thick-cut bacon, chopped

2 Tbls extra-virgin olive oil                                         2 medium shallots, minced

3 Tbls sherry vinegar                           Salt                  Freshly ground black pepper

4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled (about 1 cup)

1-Remove any tough or dry outer leaves from the head of cabbage.  Quarter the cabbage through the stem end.  Cut out and discard the hard piece of the core at the base of each quarter.  Slice the cabbage crosswise into thin strips. 

2-Cook the bacon in a medium skillet over medium heat until very crisp, 8-10 minutes.  Use a slotted spoon to transfer the bacon to a platter lined with paper towels.  Drain off all but 1 Tbls of the bacon fat.

3- Add the oil to the bacon fat left in the pan and heat briefly.  Add the shallots, and saute’ over medium heat until softened, about 2 minutes.  Whisk in the vinegar and salt and pepper to taste.  Simmer for 30 seconds to combine the flavors.

4- Pour the dressing over the cabbage and toss to combine.  Add the bacon and goat cheese and toss several times.  Divide the salad among individual plates and serve immediately.

See other cabbage recipes in Jack Bishop’s book, Vegetables Every Day,  2001,HarperCollins Publisher,New York,NY. 

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