If George Carlin were still here, I’m sure he would be asking the same question I am: Why is purple cabbage referred to as “red cabbage”? It’s not red. It’s purple. To me, and perhaps others like me who are not colorblind, this is always going to be purple cabbage.
Anyway, that question aside, I love purple cabbage shredded in my salads. That’s why when I found this recipe for “red” cabbage and apple salad, I knew it would be a keeper. Purple cabbage has some bite to it. It’s a little peppery. Apples are the perfect complement to it because of their sweetness. In this recipe, the dressing with honey and apple cider vinegar in it adds the perfect tart-sweet complement, and the raisins contribute more sweetness as well as chewiness and flavor. There are organic Gala apples at Kroger's by the bag or individually right now, although if your store doesn't have them you could use Red Delicious instead.
As good as this recipe is just the way it’s given, I can suggest a few changes that I think enhance the flavor. Change out walnuts for pecans, add another apple to balance out the purple cabbage a bit more, grate a small amount of fresh ginger into the dressing to add a little more peppery hotness and zing, and plump the raisins in the dressing ingredients for 10 minutes before adding them. If you like celery seed, adding a little bit to the dressing would also be a good thing. Also, definitely use organic raisins only in this. If you think about the fact that a raisin is really a grape shrunk down to a smaller size by allowing the liquid to dry up, you realize that the pesticides on the grapes that raisins were made from will be highly concentrated by the time they become raisins. That little handful of raisins represents a large bunch of heavily sprayed grapes. Just avoid those pesticides altogether by using organic raisins.
This is a refreshing, crunchy, tart-sweet salad that is great for every day and fun to serve to guests, especially since it’s so different from the average fare. Try it and see what you think.