Seeing Red!

Colour blocking has been “in” from a fashion perspective for a while.  When we went to Babylonstoren last year, I discovered that they take a similar approach to their juices, salads and salad dressings.

Anyway, in advance of Christmas, and for some reason, being fresh out of salad greens, I thought I’d do a red salad.  Here is my first effort:


This salad was very simple, and comprised just what I could lay my hands on from the garden and fridge:  strawberries, plums, pickled red peppers, red onion and beetroot.  The greenery included basil leaves, chopped chives, the few remaining salad leaves and a couple of green beans (we had a few that needed picking).  These were arranged on a platter which was drizzled with a local balsamic style vinegar made from Cabernet Sauvignon grapes, and olive oil.

We were so delighted with the result, that it seemed appropriate to include a red salad as part of our Christmas menu – particularly given that the Christmas tree didn’t feature anything red this year – but with a couple of variations.

This time round, I gave the salad a bit more thought and in addition to using a large, white platter, it included beetroot which had been marinated in balsamic vinegar and olive oil for three days, plums, pickled peppers, balsamic roasted red onions and a red cabbage salad.  The last two from our garden.

Xmas salad red

It was a hit!

Then, last night, with a good crop of red cabbage, the weather far too hot to do a stir fry, and not being fond of coleslaw, I decided to try a more limited version of the red salad:


This salad consisted of red cabbage and red onions, as well as plums.  I took a slightly WillowCreekCabSavVinegardifferent approach this time, and blanched the shredded cabbage and sliced onions by pouring a kettle of boiling water over them and then refreshing them under cold running water.

These, together with the fresh, sliced plums, were dressed with a good glug of olive oil and a sprinkling of the same fabulous vinegar from Willow Creek, salt and freshly ground pepper and topped with plum slices.  This is lighter than Italian Balsamic vinegar and seems to be lower in acidity and also has a slightly sweeter flavour and seems to work particularly well with the pepperiness of the raw red cabbage and onion.

© Fiona’s Favourites



10 thoughts on “Seeing Red!

    1. When we moved to Asia and were warned not to eat anything we could not peel, I missed salads the most. I have since learned to soak salad ingredients in strong salt water and/or iodine solution. Salads have been my mainstay and I need them to survive.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Washing salad in salt water is always a good idea – I always did/do it for the leafy greens, in particular when ther is a chance of a lurking snail or slug or other creepy. Good advice I’ve received for travelling to exotic places: only eat food that is freshly cooked and nothing that’s raw. It irks, but I do miss salads…


  1. It’s interesting that colours work well together, I suppose the classic is the perennial green salad, which I dished up for my supper over our two weeks in Spain and never got fed up of. (I made mixed salad for him).

    I didn’t know colours were the latest in thing, but I posted about a red casserole a while back:
    I think the slightly sweet flavours of most red veg/salad complement each other, eg beetroot, red pepper, carrot, tomato. Your red cabbage looks delicious, and would add some lovely crunchiness to your salad. Have you done a recipe for pickled peppers? I tend to roast and then dress mine in garlic and olive oil, so pickle would be a good change.

    I checked out the Babylon actual site, their coloured salads were interesting and sounded like a definite meal in themselves.

    And I’m another one who struggled in Asia without salad for the same reason. All the more reason to eat out of the garden, no pesticides and no human manure! Actually I only use the chicken shed compost, high in nitrogen and very fertile addition to the garden.


    1. Green salad is a fabulous standard and my lunch most days (I’ve not done bread or potatoes during the week for a year now, but that’s another story). I have the book from Babylonstoren and the recipes are fabulous, as are the photographs although, even though not a vegetarian, I do object to steak being presented on a huge plate decorated with a very obviously bovine decoration on it!

      I do remember that particular post of yours – about the peas – which made me laugh so much, as we were having our own “pea issues” at the time! I’m going to give your red casserole a bash: we have bean chilli quite often and this gives me a new take on it. I also like the courgette and dill recipe – we’re going to have a few of those, shortly, and I have no doubt that my farmer’s wife friend will deliver their oversized-can’t-go-to-market courgette by the case, in a month or so’s time! Will need to do something other than !

      No, I’ve not posted a pickled pepper recipe, but probably will. It looks as though we’re going to have a bumper crop – for some reason we have some plants from last year that have just continued bearing as well as an entirely new set of plants that are bearing quite well. They need to ripen now – all green at the moment, so I’m waiting to see if we have any yellow ones – we definitely have red (robots!). Hopefully they will survive the birds and the scorching sun (we’re heading into our hottest part of the year when we average about 30 – 35 C each day. The nice thing about the pickled peppers is that although they’re a bit of a mission, they keep: those ones, are BB (before blogging). I made them a couple of years ago and we hadn’t eaten them because I had had a goodly supply of fresh ones.

      Thanks for the chat, today – it’s given me some new ideas – as well as a few smiles (while I’m supposed to be researching the Dutch TVET system)!


      1. Have to say we do get through the staple carbs, I find it easier to base a meal around them, so bread, potatoes, rice, pasta usually make up our mail meal with the other one being a light salad or sandwich and large salad/pickle garnish. I did read your courgette post, and breakfast is not my best meal, I prefer brunch. I had a glut of courgettes in 2013 courtesy of my neighbours so found a few ways to use them: the same salad which I like, a courgette and parsley soup and a timbale.
        There are also some recipes to avoid on there too 😀

        I like anything pickled (and hot when appropriate), we’ve currently got pickled cauliflower, an Indian pickle I made with carrot cauliflower chilli and spices, and pickled chillis (from our Indian neighbour). Pickled peppers would be brill.

        I’m supposed to be finishing a boring book for a review with a tiny nominal payment, and yes, this has been preferable!


      2. Oooh! I love the idea of courgette and parsley soup (love both, and had a surfeit of the latter in the garden last season) and will definitely give the timbale a go. BTW, I have a fabulous cucumber soup recipe which I’ve not made for a while – it’s a cold one and based on a recipe from Isabel Allende’s book (name escapes me…) Will give it a whirl in the next while and you can see what you think.

        Given a choice, I’d also rather do brunch, but I’m married to someone who’s food conversion ratio would make him a candidate for culling (his description) necessitates three meals a day; and he can eat carbs for breakfast, lunch, dinner and tea (all of them!) Sigh!

        Ok, back to the Dutch and, happily, waiting for a friend and colleague (who’s also working on this project) to arrive for a two or so days’ visit! Happy reading – BTW – remember your advice to me about a boring job, a while ago?


Comments are closed.