While cabbage is technically a cool season vegetable, I always seem to crave cabbage salads in the heat of summer. Coleslaw is an American summer tradition but I have always found most coleslaw perhaps a little too sweet, and too mayonnaise heavy. In summer I crave refreshing salads, and this one probably ends up on our dinner table at least once a week. If I’m taking it to a party or summer barbecue I’ll dress it up like I’ve done here, adding a few extras: bell pepper (capsicum), green (spring) onions, and fresh parsley; these additions make the salad a little more beautiful and appealing.
You can absolutely use white cabbage here if you don’t have red on hand – I just like the colour, and it’s an excuse to get some colour on my daughter’s plate, since this is one salad she seems to eat without complaint. It goes perfectly with grilled meats, or topped with chicken schnitzel, or tucked into bread with falafel or shawarma.
The dressing is simple: lemon juice, vinegar (I like rice vinegar but apple cider works great here, too), sugar, salt, pepper, and sumac. It’s bright and fresh in flavour, and while it may not seem like a lot of dressing, you massage it into the cabbage which will absorb it and soften perfectly after a few minutes. This feeds a crowd, it’s enough to take to a barbecue or gathering, so if you are cooking for a small family you can easily halve the recipe. We typically take this for lunches the next day topped with a protein, or stuff it into sandwiches, so we don’t find it goes to waste!
Salatet Malfouf – Lebanese Red Cabbage Salad
- 1 medium head red cabbage, thinly sliced (around 1kg / 2.2lbs)
- 1 medium red bell pepper, very finely chopped
- 4 green onions, finely chopped
- ¼ cup finely chopped fresh parsley
For the Dressing:
- juice of half a lemon (roughly 1-2 Tbsp)
- 2 Tbsp rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar
- 2 tsp granulated sugar (or sugar alternative of your choice)
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp sumac
- ¼ tsp white pepper
- In a small jar, combine all of the dressing ingredients (lemon juice, vinegar, sugar, salt, sumac, and white pepper). Shake to combine.
- In a bowl place your chopped cabbage. Add your dressing and massage it into the cabbage for around 30 seconds. Add the other vegetables and mix thoroughly. Taste and adjust salt if necessary. Enjoy!