We all need a little bit of pink in our lives. I feel like this year was the year of all things pink (hi Barbie!) and now that it’s January, I’m missing those long summer days that are full of color. This Pink Cabbage Salad with Agrodolce Beets is the answer to my call for color, with bright purple cabbage, pinky radishes and the most beautiful beets you ever did see. This salad is literally picture-perfect… I mean, come on. Look at those colors!
What makes this salad so bright and delicious is the agrodolce sauce. I’ll get more into what agrodolce sauce is a bit later, but just know that it’s what brings this pink salad to life. It’s pure magic and a must!
This isn’t just any salad. This salad makes you feel good from the inside out. Need I say more?
Table of contents
What is agrodolce?
Agrodolce is an Italian condiment that melts honey or sugar and vinegar together to make the most addicting sweet and sour sauce. It’s pretty acidic, which is why we’re using it for the beautiful candy cane beets in this recipe.
When agrodolce is cooked with the beets, it essentially pickles them. Then, when the sauce and beets are poured over the cabbage and radishes, it slightly pickles them too. This salad is all about the sauce! It’s acidic and sweet, which brings all of these colorful vegetables together in harmony. Plus, it makes the whole dish all the more vibrant, and I’m not complaining.
Agrodocle is a good sauce to have on hand for anything, though. It’s perfect for this salad, but you can use it in so many flavor combos. Get creative! This sauce is a staple.
Substitutions and add-on options for this pink salad
This recipe uses almonds as a topping, but you can use almost any nut that you prefer! Instead of almonds, I would go for:
- Pine nuts
- Sesame seeds
As for adding protein, you really can’t go wrong! I would keep it straightforward to let the veggies and the sauce shine. To add protein, go for:
- Crispy tofu (I have a great recipe for this if you need some help!)
- White beans
- Crispy chickpeas
- Crispy tempeh
And of course, if you eat meat, grilled chicken could work here too. But you know me, I love a good vegetarian protein!
Looking for more fun salad recipes?
We keep salads interesting on this blog! Here are some of my favorites:
And that’s everything for this Pink Salad with Agrodolce Beets!
And of course feel free to leave any questions, comments or reviews! This is the best place to reach me, and I’d love to hear from you <3
Pink Salad with Agrodolce Beets
- 1 chef's knife
- 1 mandolin
- 1 small sauté pan
- 4 small candy cane beets about 1/2 pound
- 1 small red onion
- 4 medium watermelon radishes
- 2 medium breakfast radishes
- 1 small head of red cabbage
- 1/4 cup honey
- 3/4 cup red wine vinegar
- Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds
- 1/2 cup a mix of fresh mint and dill
- 1/2 cup freshly crumbled feta cheese
- Cut the tops off of the beets, halve them lengthwise and thinly slice into medallions. Set aside.
- Thinly slice the red onion and add it to a small bowl.
- Mandolin (or slice into paper-thin slices) the radishes and cabbage and add to a very large bowl.
- Set a medium sauté pan over medium heat. Add the honey and red wine vinegar and stir to combine. Add the beets and bring this mixture to a simmer. Let it simmer and reduce by half, about 9-11 minutes. Season with a large pinch of salt.
- After the mixture has reduced, the beets should be softened. If they are still firm, continue to cook until they are softened. Once the beets are cooked, turn off the heat and add the red onions to the agrodolce. Stir to combine.
- Pour this agrodolce dressing over the cabbage and radishes. Mix to coat everything. As this sits, the radishes and cabbage will turn to an even more vibrant pink. Season with a few cracks of black pepper.
- Wipe out the pan and add the almonds. Set the pan back over medium heat and toast the almonds for 3-4 minutes or until fragrant.
- Add the slivered almonds to the salad. Tear the mint and dill into rough pieces and sprinkle into the salad. Add the feta cheese and give everything a few big mixes.
- Portion into large bowls and serve!