Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Winter Cabbage Salad
When I was growing up, my mother would occasionally make a platter of shredded cabbage with sliced tomatoes on top. Over that she would sprinkle lemon juice (the bottled kind - this was the 80s after all). We commonly ate this with rice and beans. It was a good contrast in texture and flavor.
But I tweaked the original recipe a bit and now we eat this pretty often, with more than just rice and beans. Local produce is sparse at market these days, but there is plenty of cabbage! And I'm with Erin on the lemons.
In the bottom of the serving bowl, mix together:
zest and juice of one lemon or lime
about 1/4 tsp. salt (or more to taste)
1/2 tsp. sugar
glug of olive oil - maybe 1 Tbs. - just enough to take the edge off the citrus
Shred cabbage however finely you have time and patience for to equal between 2 and 4 cups. Sometimes I mince a few garlic cloves too, or add a little parsley; one time my friend added finely chopped arugula.
Toss cabbage (and other stuff) with dressing. This is good if it has a chance to sit for an hour or two. But if you keep it longer than 2 days, the salt draws too much water out of the cabbage and the whole business gets watery and soft. I have seen my husband eating it out of the fridge this way, so perhaps it's still fine.
Another thing of note: sugar is well-used like salt. I add a smidge to things sometimes when I don't know what else to do, and just like salt can, it brightens or mellows flavors. In this salad, it is just softening the citrus a bit, along with the olive oil.
Not a beautiful salad, but very tasty. And the beans & rice goulash we had with it looked like a brown pile, so we just ate it without taking pictures.