Massaged Cabbage & Kale Salad with Grapefruit, Blood Orange & Candied Pistachios

Massaging hardy cruciferous vegetables like cabbage and kale softens them, brings out their juiciness and makes it way easier to eat them raw. Squeeze the vegetables as powerfully as you can for the best results. This colorful salad is perfect for the winter holidays.

a recipe photo of the Massaged Cabbage and Kale Salad with Grapefruit Blood Oranges and Candied Pistachios
Photo: Alexandra Shytsman
Active Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
30 mins


  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup plus 1 teaspoon maple syrup or honey, divided

  • ½ teaspoon chili powder

  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • teaspoon fine sea salt plus 1/4 teaspoon, divided

  • ½ cup raw shelled pistachios

  • 2 tablespoons mild vinegar, such as cider, white-wine or champagne

  • 2 teaspoons brown or Dijon mustard

  • Freshly ground pepper to taste

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 4 cups shredded green cabbage (about 1/4 small head)

  • 4 large curly kale leaves, stemmed and roughly chopped (about 6 cups)

  • 1 blood orange, suprêmed (see Tip)

  • 1 grapefruit, suprêmed (see Tip)


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a small baking sheet with parchment paper.

  2. Whisk 2 tablespoons maple syrup, chili powder, cinnamon and 1/8 teaspoon salt in a small bowl. Add pistachios and toss to coat. Spread in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Roast for 10 minutes, stir, then continue roasting until the pistachios take on a glossy texture and smell caramelized, about 8 minutes more. Remove from the oven and cool completely; the nuts will harden and become crunchy as they cool.

  3. Meanwhile, whisk vinegar, mustard and the remaining 1 teaspoon maple syrup (or honey) and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a small bowl. Add oil in a gradual stream, whisking to emulsify. Season with pepper to taste.

  4. Combine cabbage and kale in a large bowl. Drizzle with 3 tablespoons of the vinaigrette. Using clean hands, massage the vegetables vigorously for 1 to 2 minutes, until the cabbage is soft and the kale is bright green.

  5. Transfer the vegetables to a serving platter. Top with orange and grapefruit segments. Drizzle with the remaining 2 tablespoons vinaigrette and sprinkle with the pistachios. Serve immediately.

To make ahead

Store candied pistachios (Step 2) in an airtight container for up to 1 day. Refrigerate dressing (Step 3) for up to 3 days; shake well before using.


Parchment paper


To suprême: Use this technique to get pretty, pith-free citrus sections every time. Cut a thin slice off the top and bottom of the fruit with a large sharp knife. Place on a cutting board. Remove the peel and white pith below, following the curve of the fruit as you go. Working over a bowl, switch to a small sharp knife and cut each segment from the surrounding membranes. Squeeze any extra juice from the membranes, if desired.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

187 Calories
10g Fat
20g Carbs
5g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 6
Serving Size 1 1/3 cups
Calories 187
% Daily Value *
Total Carbohydrate 20g 7%
Dietary Fiber 5g 18%
Total Sugars 13g
Added Sugars 5g 10%
Protein 5g 10%
Total Fat 10g 13%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Vitamin A 3165IU 63%
Vitamin C 75mg 83%
Vitamin E 1mg 9%
Folate 43mcg 11%
Vitamin K 192mcg 160%
Sodium 241mg 10%
Calcium 71mg 5%
Iron 1mg 6%
Magnesium 31mg 7%
Potassium 247mg 5%
Zinc 1mg 9%

Nutrition information is calculated by a registered dietitian using an ingredient database but should be considered an estimate.

* Daily Values (DVs) are the recommended amounts of nutrients to consume each day. Percent Daily Value (%DV) found on nutrition labels tells you how much a serving of a particular food or recipe contributes to each of those total recommended amounts. Per the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the daily value is based on a standard 2,000 calorie diet. Depending on your calorie needs or if you have a health condition, you may need more or less of particular nutrients. (For example, it’s recommended that people following a heart-healthy diet eat less sodium on a daily basis compared to those following a standard diet.)

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a special diet for medical reasons, be sure to consult with your primary care provider or a registered dietitian to better understand your personal nutrition needs.

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