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Red Cabbage Fig and Pistachio Moroccan Salad

Summer is here (in theory)! My lovely husband has awoken the barbecue from its state of hibernation and I am looking forward to relaxing meals al fresco. Again, relaxing in theory owing to the cooking being passed baton-like to the man of the house! Except in reality, barbecues aren't just about throwing a bunch of meat on the barbecue while laughing with carefree abandon over a chilled Pimms. If only.

Red Cabbage Fig and Pistachio Moroccan Salad

I created this one for a family garden get together this weekend. One of my favourite things about it aside from the warm and aromatic spices, is simply the colour. It is an undeniable stunner centre-stage with its bold purple hue glistening in the (theoretical) sunshine; flecks of bright green shining through from the crunchy pistachios; deep green from the parsley and burnished brown chunks of sticky dried figs.

The textures range from the crunch of cabbage, celery and nuts to the chewy dried fruit. The flavour is lemony, sweet, gently spiced, with the unexpected hint of rosewater, reminiscent of an English garden, yet balanced by the freshness of mint. A perfect accompaniment to any grilled meat.

Or indeed as a simple standalone lunch - which is exactly what I have been doing this week while working on the recipe! Here's to the summer...

Red Cabbage Fig and Pistachio Moroccan Salad
Grain-free, Gluten-free, Diary-free, Refined Sugar-free

Serves approx 4 as a side

1/2 head of red cabbage (approx 250g), finely shredded
1/2 cup (80g) dried unsweetened figs (unsulphured if possible), roughly chopped
2 sticks of celery, washed, dried, thinly sliced on the diagonal
1/2 cup (15g) fresh mint leaves, roughly torn
1/2 cup (15g) fresh flat leaf parsley, roughly torn
1/2 cup (50g) unsalted pistachios (roasted or raw)

2 tbsp EVOO
2 tbsp pomegranate molasses (or sub honey/ maple syrup)
1 tbsp lemon juice (1/4 large lemon)
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp rosewater (be careful as the taste can be overwhelming!)
1/2 tsp sumac
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp sea salt or pink salt
fresh ground black pepper to taste

1. In a small bowl or jug, whisk together the dressing ingredients and adjust for seasoning. Note the flavours will seem quite intense and concentrated as this small amount of dressing will be diluted across the whole salad. Set aside.
2. In a large mixing bowl, add shredded cabbage, celery, figs, mint and parsley. Toss together to roughly combine.
3. Drizzle over the dressing and toss well to ensure dressing coats all ingredients.
4. Just before serving add pistachios, roughly toss, sprinkle with a little extra chopped mint or parsley and a few edible flowers if preferred.