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2-Way Cabbage Salad

2-Way Cabbage Salad

Renée Robinson

Roasted and Raw Cabbage in a Salad? Oh, Yeah. And It’s a Beauty.

Now, this is a noteworthy salad. I ran into a recipe from Ixta Belfrage for a salad in which Napa cabbage was used and part of it was roasted.  While I loved the idea, I went in a completely different direction for my own salad by using purple cabbage and very different flavorings.

Cut Raw Cabbage
Raw cabbage leaves

After slicing the head of cabbage into quarters, I separated the leaves from half, rubbed them with a small amount of oil and salt and roasted them for only 10 minutes at high heat. This gave me some charred and toasted edges but kept the thicker centers crisp tender. And the color was beautiful after the brief roasting time.

Roasted Cabbage
Roasted cabbage leaves

I used some orange juice in the dressing, which I cooked down into a syrup along with soy sauce, rice vinegar, maple syrup and a dried habanero chili. The habanero imparts some heat, but it also has a fruitiness in its flavor that I like a lot. The heat can be controlled by either removing the whole chili after it’s cooked or you can squeeze the chili with a spoon and release its seeds into the dressing. I opted to not release the seeds in this, as I didn’t want it to be overly hot. Deciding to go full tilt with the orange flavor, I added fresh oranges to the salad. Many times I will simply cut the oranges into thick slices for a salad, but I thought that supremes (segments of oranges cut from the membranes) would be nicer in this one.

Fresh Sectioned Oranges
Orange supremes (segments)

After the syrup cooled, I whisked in seasonings, sesame oil and neutral oil. This was one very tasty dressing. I knew it needed to be strong in order to not be overpowered by the sliced cabbage and scallions. A couple tablespoons of nigella seeds * enhanced the overall flavor and texture of the salad. I reinforced the sesame flavor by topping it all with toasted sesame seeds. And then I added crispy fried shallots * for good measure. 

When I served it, I made sure everyone had a mix of the raw salad and the roasted cabbage leaves. The sweet and musky roasted leaves are simply fantastic with the sharp and crunchy salad. I thought this was going to work well and I wasn’t at all let down. 

2-Way Cabbage Salad
Completed salad

Plus, it looks gorgeous. Pretty food is important to me. I’m a firm believer in the old adage that says we eat with our eyes first. If it looks good, the pleasure of eating it is enhanced. This one is a keeper on all fronts.


*Disclosure: I only recommend products I use myself and all opinions expressed here are my own. This post may contain affiliate links that, at no additional cost to you, may pay me a small commission and help support the costs of this website. Read full privacy policy here.

2-Way Cabbage Salad

Recipe by Renée Robinson



Both roasted and raw cabbage go into this excellent salad. Oranges, nigella seeds, maple syrup and sesame oil are all part of the mix. And then it's topped with sesame seeds and crispy shallots. Yep, it's one tasty salad.

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  • 1 head red cabbage, sliced into quarters, through the core

  • Extra virgin olive oil

  • Fine sea salt

  • 1 bunch scallions, sliced thinly on the diagonal

  • 2 oranges, sliced into supremes

  • 1 orange, juiced

  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce

  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons maple syrup

  • 1 dried habanero chili

  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

  • Black pepper

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sesame oil

  • 1/4 cup neutral vegetable oil

  • 2 tablespoons nigella seeds *

  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds

  • Crispy fried shallots * (I buy large jars of these. It’s a staple in my pantry.)


  • Preheat oven to 450° with a rack in the center.
  • Cut out the core from 2 quarters of the cabbage and separate into individual leaves. Place on a half sheet pan, drizzle with 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil and sprinkle lightly with salt. Using your hands, rub the oil and salt all over the cabbage leaves. Place in the oven and roast for 10 minutes. The edges of the leaves should be charred and crisp. Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan.
  • Cut out the core from the remaining 2 quarters of cabbage, slice very thinly and put into a large bowl. Add the sliced scallions, cover the bowl and put into the refrigerator to chill while you make the dressing.
  • Slice off all the peel and white pith of 2 oranges and slice between the membranes to create supremes. Hold your hand over a small saucepan and squeeze all the juice from the membranes into the pan. Add the juice from the remaining orange into the same pan. Stir in soy sauce, rice vinegar, maple syrup and the dried habanero. Cook over medium heat until it is slightly syrupy, about 8 or 9 minutes. Remove the habanero and set aside in order to cool. Whisk in the salt, a few grinds of black pepper, sesame oil, and neutral oil.
  • Toss the sliced cabbage with the nigella seeds, orange supremes, and dressing. Taste for seasoning. Layer the roasted cabbage leaves in a large bowl or platter and mound the cabbage salad in the center. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and as many crispy fried shallots as you’d like. Enjoy!

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