Cabbage Salad with Winter Roots and Popped Mustard Seed

1 medium head savoy cabbage or Napa cabbage

2 medium carrots, scrubbed well

3 medium watermelon radishes or other winter radishes, such as the Hilds Blauer or China Rose varieties

1 small red onion

3 tablespoons peanut oil

1 tablespoon brown mustard seed

2 small dried arbol chili peppers, torn into 2 or 3 pieces (reduce to 1 or omit for less heat)

¾ teaspoon sea salt

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Cracked black pepper

½ cup flat-leaf parsley leaves (from about 10 sprigs)

Cut the cabbage in half through the stem end, then cut each half through the stem end to yield four quarters. Slice off the core and discard, then cut each quarter crosswise into thin ribbons. You should have about 9 loosely packed cups. Transfer the cabbage to a bowl.

Cut the carrots into matchstick-size strips (julienne), and halve and thinly slice the radishes; transfer those ingredients to the bowl of cabbage.

Cut the onion in half crosswise, then slice it thinly lengthwise. Add the onion to the bowl.

Heat the oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Once the oil shimmers, add the mustard seed and arbol chili pieces. Cover and cook for about 4 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally, until the seeds begin to pop. Remove from the heat; let cool for 5 minutes (covered).

Dissolve the salt in the lemon juice in a small bowl, then pour over the cabbage, along with the oil and mustard seed. Use your hands to toss the cabbage and vegetables with the dressing until they are well coated and slightly wilted. Taste for salt, and season lightly with the black pepper. Fold in the parsley, and serve.

Serves four.

Cook's note: Turn this salad into a vegetarian main dish by folding ¼ cup of red quinoa, cooked and cooled, into the finished salad and scattering cubed extra-firm tofu around each plate.

Nutrition values per serving: 170 calories, 11 g fat (2 g saturated), 16 g carbohydrates, 7 g fiber, 7 g sugar, 4 g protein, 0 cholesterol, 470 mg sodium.

Emily C. Horton, for The Washington Post

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