Crunchy salad to boost your immune system

salad on table with glasses of wine

This salad has it all! It’s colorful, full of flavor, crunchy, juicy, and super healthy. Everyone knows that cabbage, oranges, and beets are powerful immune system boosters packed with vitamins. Add some nuts, herbs and feta, and you’re good to go.

Acid is the star of this salad. Red cabbage cries out for a sour ingredient. This purple vegetable gets magically vibrant by adding vinegar. The dressing with red wine vinegar and the tangy-sweet oranges combine well with the cabbage as well as the earthy raw beets.

Another benefit of this salad is that you can prepare the majority of it in advance. Let it sit in the fridge for several hours and the flavors and color will only develop. I love to use this bright dish in my Masterclass Photography and Food Styling, that I organise together with my sister-in-law and Heel Holland Fotografeert at the beautiful bakery of De Veldkeuken near Utrecht. The salad is a feast for the food photographer’s eye!

Crunchy salad to boost your immune system

I love to eat this salad for lunch. I shred the cabbage myself on a mandolin (it's fresher this way and comes without needless plastic wrappings), but if you prefer, you can buy shredded cabbage instead. You can prepare the individual ingredients ahead (i.e. marinate the cabbage, beets, and onions, slice the oranges). Assemble the salad just before serving.
Prep Time30 mins
Servings: 4 people


  • mandolin


  • a 300 g/ 10.5 oz piece of red cabbage core and wilted or damaged outer leaves removed
  • 1 medium raw red beet
  • 1 medium red onion (or 2 small ones) peeled
  • 4 small juicy oranges
  • one handful of smoked or roasted almonds
  • one handful of fresh mint and/or other herbs (oregano, cilantro, basil)
  • a piece of feta cheese crumbled

for the dressing

  • 7 tbsp extra vierge olive oil
  • 4 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp honey mustard
  • 1/2 tsp salt plus extra


  • In a small bowl, mix 6 tbsp olive oil with 2 tbsp red wine vinegar, the mustard, and the salt. Add some freshly ground black pepper.
  • With the aid of a mandoline, finely shred the cabbage. Place the shredded cabbage in a bowl and mix in the dressing. Let sit (in the refrigerator) for at least 15 minutes.
  • With a vegetable peeler, peel the beet thinly. With the aid of the mandolin, thinly slice the beet. Place the beet slices in a bowl and add 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp red wine vinegar, and some salt. Let sit (in the refrigerator) for at least 15 minutes.
  • Cut the onion in half and slice thinly. In a small bowl, mix the onion with 1 tbsp red wine vinegar and some salt. Let sit for about 10 minutes.
  • Peel the oranges, remove the white pith and slice the oranges horizontally.
  • Assemble the salad right before serving. Put the red cabbage slaw on a large serving plate (or use 4 individual plates). Arrange the beet and orange slices on top. Garnish with the onions, almonds, feta, and fresh herbes. Grind over some black pepper. Serve with crusty bread to soak up the juices.

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