Meera Sodha’s vegan recipe for Christmas red cabbage, apple and pomegranate salad

Think of this as the fresher and more sprightly alternative to the traditional braised red cabbage with apple that often features on the Christmas table. I’ve mixed things up by adding a little chilli heat, sweet-and-sour pomegranate molasses and some herbs and lemon for zing.

Red cabbage, apple and pomegranate salad
Prep 10 min
Cook 10 min
Serves 6 as a side

100g pumpkin seeds
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp red chilli powder
Fine sea salt
¼ red cabbage (250g), finely shredded
½ fennel bulb (100g), finely shredded, fronds reserved
1 apple, cored and cut into thin slices
3 tbsp olive oil
1½ tbsp pomegranate molasses
2 tbsp finely chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves

Heat the oven to 200C (180C fan)/390F/gas 6 and line a baking tray (I use a reusable baking sheet).

Put the pumpkin seeds in a bowl with half the lemon juice, the chilli powder and a half-teaspoon of salt, mix well, then tip into the tray and spread out. Roast for eight minutes, until lightly golden, then remove and set aside.

Put the shredded cabbage in a large bowl, add the remaining tablespoon of lemon juice and a half-teaspoon of salt, then scrunch it repeatedly with a clean hand for about two minutes, until the cabbage wilts and softens.

Just before serving, add the fennel, apple, oil, molasses and parsley, and mix really well to combine. Throw in half the pumpkin seeds, then serve a large handful of the salad next to a wedge of Christmas pumpkin and scatter the reserved fennel fronds and some of the remaining pumpkin seeds over the top.