I think we can all agree that cabbage isn’t sexy. No one orders a glass of wine and a cabbage appetizer on a first date or offers a colorful side of cabbage at their wedding. What is it even? It’s not lettuce, it smells weird, kids hate it and the only place I’ve seen it is mixed with a bunch of mayonnaise as a side dish to some barbecued meat. It’s for this reason I didn’t put the word cabbage in the title to this post or the recipe below. NO ONE LIKES CABBAGE.
Well, although this all might be true, I have evidence that cabbage can be enjoyed, even craved (gasp), by husbands, mother-in-laws, vegetable haters and possibly even children.
My mom first introduced me to this salad when I was in high school. The first time she made it I remember consciously choosing to avoid it, pretending it didn’t even exist on the dinner table because it was essentially just a large bowl of chopped cabbage. My husband Chet did the same thing the first time I made it for him. Take my advice, and his, and don’t avoid it!
The sweet and tangy dressing with a hint of sesame combined with crisp, thinly chopped cabbage, crunchy, salty sesame sticks, mild green onions and toasted almonds makes for a bowl worthy meal that you’ll get uncomfortably full eating. It’ll be one of those meals that will have you constantly apologizing for how much you’re consuming, blaming it on the fact that “it’s just that good.” Thankfully, since it’s mostly just vegetables, you don’t have to feel guilty for eating it.
One recommendation I’ll make is that this is one of those salads that works best if it’s pre-dressed before serving. Since cabbage is much thicker and more dense than lettuce, it can handle the dressing without getting soggy. It makes for a good leftover lunch or even second dinner if you’re crunched for time the following evening.
If you’re looking for a protein to throw on top, a simple grilled chicken breast works well. Use this dish as a side at your next barbecue or do what I do and find your biggest bowl, pour yourself a glass of white wine and enjoy as you watch Chloe and Jack save the United States from yet another impending terrorist attack (damnit Chloe)!
WHAT TO BRING TO THE STORE
This is a bulk recipe to the max. You’ll need two reusable produce bags for your cabbage and green onion, two reusable bulk bags for your sesame sticks and sliced almonds, and as many bulk spice jars or bags that you need for whichever spices you might not already have. Something I’ve recently thought about bringing to the store with me is my own metal, reusable toothpick for all those cheese samples, yum!
- 1/2 head of purple cabbage
- 1/2 head of green cabbage
- 3 green onions
- 2/3 cup of sliced almonds
- 1/2 cup sesame sticks (found in the bulk aisle)
- 3 tbsp sugar
- 3 tbsp vinegar (red wine, apple cider or white)
- 1 tbsp soy sauce or amino acids
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- Toast the sliced almonds under low broil for 2-3 minutes, until golden brown. Set aside.
- Thinly chop or shred the purple and green cabbage into a large bowl.
- Thinly slice the green onion.
- Toss the cabbage, green onion, toasted almonds and sesame sticks in a large bowl.
- Whisk the sugar into the vinegar until it dissolves, about 2 minutes.
- Add the soy sauce (or amino acids), salt, pepper, sesame oil and olive oil to the sugar mixture and whisk briskly until combined.
- Pour the dressing over the salad and toss until evenly coated.
- This salad tastes best after it sits in the dressing in the fridge for 20-30 minutes before eating. It allows the dressing to soak in and make everything super delicious!
To make this dressing you need sesame oil and soy sauce, neither of which I have found in a bulk section, yet. Thankfully, most recipes that call for these ingredients only ask for a little bit at a time, so they will last you awhile and the bottles can either be rinsed and reused, or recycled. Olive oil can be found in most bulk sections, or if not, the same applies as I mentioned above.
By purchasing most of your ingredients in bulk, you are saving one-time use packaging from going into your garbage. Sugar, spices, sesame sticks, sliced almonds, produce and oils can all be purchased in bulk saving you more packaging than you think! Well done!