A yoghurty Savoy cabbage salad of white onions and black onion seeds

This salad was a bit of a revelation. Aside from the cucumber and the black onion seeds nothing is the same as in the original recipe that I was trying out. But I had never heard of black onion seeds before and I wanted to give them a go.

I was a bit dubious about the salad to begin with – the walnut oil is my addition, and I found the lack of acid (no vinegar, no lemon juice) a bit of a concern, especially with the generous amount of honey. But the raw cabbage imports bitterness so somehow it works gloriously.

The black onion seeds were a real revelation. I had, in fact, heard of them – only I knew them as nigella seeds. But I hadn’t appreciated their potential. “There’s something a bit different in here,” mused the Chief Taster, as he dug in, “it’s a bit of a surprise…you could use this on all kinds of things….not on everything. They’re a bit like capers, you need to use them judiciously.” I was so intrigued by them that I did a lot of research and they are now the subject of a separate post.


This salad keeps well in the fridge – refresh the following day with a bit of new garnish.


Recipe for a yoghurty Savoy cabbage salad of white onions and black onion seeds

Serves 4


  • 1 small Savoy cabbage – about 1 kg – weigh it minus its heavy stem, if it is much more than this, use the extra leaves for something else.
  • 1 small cucumber – ideally a knobbly Lebanese one which will have a lot more flavour
  • 8 spring onions
  • handful of coriander – 28g/1 oz
  • 2 tsps black onion seeds
  • 1 tbsp runny honey
  • 120 ml/½ cup thick yoghurt
  • 1 tsp smoked salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 tbsp walnut oil


  1. Take the stem out of the cabbage and shred it quite finely. Put it in a large, pretty bowl.
  2. Slice the cucumber and cut the slices into quarters.
  3. Mix together the honey, yoghurt, salt and pepper, and the walnut oil in a small bowl.
  4. Add to the cabbage and cucumber, and mix well.
  5. Snip in most of the spring onions, including a good inch (5 cms) of the green; and most of the coriander. Mix.
  6. Serve, garnished with the rest of the spring onions and coriander, and with the black onion seeds.


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