Cabbage, Apple and Date Salad with Black Cumin Seed Dressing

A plate of gently cooked cabbage with thinly sliced apple, coarsely chopped nuts and dates in a black cumin seed dressing.
Our three Simple Feast chefs

Simple Feast

Our chefs

Serves 4

Active Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Blanching cabbage (submerging it in salted boiling water and immediately putting it in ice water to stop the cooking) keeps it crisp, but not quite as hard, and removes the raw taste that is more typical of a coleslaw, making it almost a completely different vegetable in a salad like this one.

Sambhar masala is a Southern Indian spice blend. There are many variations, but most will include curry leaves, chiles, and an assortment of spices. If it isn’t available at your market, seek out another masala, such as chaat or rasam, from a local Indian/Asian grocer or order from an online source.


Masala-Seasoned Almonds

  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil

  • ½ teaspoon sambhar masala spice

  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt

  • ⅓ cup raw almonds 


  • ½ small savoy cabbage, about 12 ounces 

  • 2 large flat-leaf parsley sprigs

  • 1 large crisp apple, such as Pink Lady

  • 4 medjool dates

Black Cumin Seed Dressing

  • 1½ tablespoons agave syrup

  • 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest

  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt

  • ⅛ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  • ¾ teaspoon black cumin seeds, also known as nigella seeds


For the seasoned almonds, preheat the oven to 325˚F.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Fill a medium bowl with ice water.

In a small bowl, whisk the oil, sambhar, and salt together. Add the almonds and toss to coat in the seasoned oil. Line a small baking sheet with parchment paper and spread the nuts on top. Bake until the almonds are golden brown and fragrant, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove the almonds from the oven and let cool.

Remove the core from the cabbage and discard. Tear the cabbage leaves into large pieces. Blanch in the boiling water until the raw taste is gone, but the cabbage pieces are still crisp, about 1 minute. Immediately put in the ice water. Let cool completely. Remove from the ice and drain well on paper towels.

Pick the parsley leaves from the stems. Combine the parsley leaves, cabbage, apple, and dates in a salad bowl. 

Put all of the dressing ingredients in a Mason jar and shake to combine. Drizzle the dressing over the top of the salad, while tossing, adding just enough to lightly coat. Sprinkle with the black cumin seeds.

Divide among plates or serve family style. Top with the seasoned almonds.