An essential element of street vendor salad bars, Israeli green cabbage salad is a tangy accompaniment to your shawarma or falafel, either directly in your pita or alongside.Yum
Israel has two canonical cabbage salads: this green one, with a tangy dressing, and a red cabbage salad with a creamy dressing. Often, they jostle side by side and there’s no need to take sides; you just get both. This is a salad that’s absolutely simple to make at home and only gets better with time. A great one to make for a Shabbat spread and eat all week long.
Pretty much welcome alongside whatever you’re having, this salad makes for a nice contrast with grilled meats and is often stuffed into pita with other goodness, like falafel. You’ll invariably find it among the salads stocked by every street vendor. I can’t say what about this salad makes it so Israeli, but it is. It’s not at all like American coleslaw, nor like Asian slaws or Cali-Mex slaws. It’s sweeter, mostly, less vinegary, more redolent of olive and lemon, two consummately Israeli flavors.
Making Israeli green cabbage salad
An easy shortcut here is to use bagged shredded cabbage, if you can find it plain or “angel hair” style—you don’t want coleslaw mix here, as it’s the wrong type of shred. There’s nothing fresher than cabbage you slice yourself, and it’s especially nice here. You can shred by hand, on a mandoline cutter, or using the slicing disc of a food processor, my personal favorite, as my nipped fingertips can attest. The dressing doesn’t need to be pre-mixed, so you can dump and then toss and you’re done. Oh, and it only gets better after a day in the fridge.
For the dressing, all you need is:
- Olive oil, that Mediterranean classic
- Lemon juice, fresh squeezed here only, please
- Sugar, just regular sugar
- Salt and that’s all.
Looking for more Israeli food?
- Israeli Hummus, the one dish to rule them all.
- Israeli Chicken Schnitzel, which wouldn’t be out of place in a pita with this salad (really).
- Israeli salad, for which no other salad can stand in.
Israeli Green Cabbage Salad (parve)
- Food processor with slicing disc, optional
- 1/2 green cabbage – shredded
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- Shred the cabbage.
- Combine the olive oil with lemon juice, sugar, and salt. Pour over the cabbage and toss well.