Purple Cabbage Salad with Currants, Carrots, and Almonds

Purple Cabbage Salad with Carrots, Almonds and Currents

I’m sure cooked cabbage has its merits, but this is how I like it best, raw and shredded. We don’t buy cabbage often, so when Stewart came home from the store with a small head of the purple variety, I wasn’t quite sure what to do with it. I’m happy with this salad since it’s pretty, easy and tasty, my favorite combination of adjectives when it comes to food.

The dressing is quite peppy – you really only need just enough to coat everything, which is nice because it won’t cover up the beautiful colors of this salad. If you have a food processor with a shredding and slicing disc, this really couldn’t be easier to make. Without it it’s pretty east too, so don’t worry. A sharp knife and hand held grater will suffice.

Purple Cabbage Salad with Currants, Carrots, and Almonds
Makes 4-6 Servings

1 Small Head Purple Cabbage, about the size of a softball
4 Carrots, shredded
Sliced or Slivered Almonds
Dried Currants* or Raisins

Dressing (Makes enough for two large-ish servings)
1 Tbs Balsamic Vinegar
2 Tbs Seasoned Rice Vinegar
1 Tbs Water
1/4 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Sugar
1 tsp Maple Syrup
2 Tbs Canola Oil

Trim off a small amount of the bottom of the cabbage, where the stem was. Quarter the cabbage, and cut out the thick white cores on each piece. Process through the slicing disc of your food processor, or slice thinly to make strips. Shred carrots by hand or via processor. Toss cabbage and carrots together in a large bowl. This makes a lot, I put half of it in a 1 gallon ziplock bag for the next day since there was only two of us eating it.

Add currants and almonds in whatever amounts please you. I did about 2 handfuls of almonds and 1 handful or so of currants after I cut the carrot/cabbage mixture down by half.

Whisk all the dressing ingredients together save for the oil. Slowly drizzle the oil in while whisking to emulsify. I’ve found that balsamic vinegars vary drastically in flavor. Some are tart and thin, some are sweet and thick, so adjust the dressing as needed to suit the vinegar you have.

*Dried currants in the U.S. are usually not currants. You’re most likely going to find something called “Zante Currants”, which is just a variety of small seedless grape made into raisins. The currants I bought at Whole Foods were indeed labeled “zante”, but sometimes you won’t find this distinction at all, leaving you to guess if you’re purchasing real, tart currants, or sweet miniature raisins. This recipe really calles for miniature raisins, so the regular-sized ones would be a good substitute. If you make this with real currants, let me know how it tastes (and where you found them!).


  1. f.lynd

    This is possibly the best salad I’ve ever eaten. It’s now my summertime staple for potlucks and picnics – easy, fast, cheap! – and, although the flavors meld differently as it sits in the refrigerator from day-to-day, there’s never a time when it tastes bad, or even — “Hmm – this was yummier yesterday”.


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  3. Andrea Dude

    This was delicious! I’ve passed it on to my friends and they’ve loved it too. I used craisins and olive oil (EVOO) in place. My husband doesn’t like vinegar and he ate it! Thanks!

  4. Alix

    Does anyone have any suggestions of what I could replace the almonds with? I’m deathly allergic to tree nuts, but I’d want to keep the protein that would be included by using them.

    Or at least to keep the texture and add some flavor.

  5. Filipa

    I’ve only tried redcurrants and i can tell you they taste nothing like raisins, they are super bitter and for many people unedible because of it.
    Honestly in my country, Portugal, they mostly sell to make alcoholic drinks and that’s it.

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  7. Elaine


    I was thinking of replacing the almonds with croutons, or maybe some kind of nut-free granola? Jicama would be very nice but not as much protein.

  8. Angelsea

    This was *sooo* delicious, the vinaigrette especially! I replaced the currents with dried cranberries and added some thinly shaved Gala apple – yum! :D

  9. TLK

    Alix: I’ve seen another purple cabbage salad recipe that used toasted sesame seeds, so maybe that would make a good substitute for those with nut allergies.

    I’m going to try this recipe with dried cranberries instead of currants (just because I have them). I understood “currants” to be dried red or black currants, which grow in clusters on shrubs. Fresh red currants tend to be more sour than the black ones. Black currants are the flavour known as “cassis” in Europe. I’ve never heard of zante currants, but if the package only lists “currants” as the ingredients, who knows?

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