click here to jump to start of article
Join Our Newsletter

Join 400,000 Aish subscribers
Get Email Updates




Cabbage Head

Cabbage Head

Dress up your coleslaw and try one of these alternative recipes.

by

"Cabbage Head" is a term used in Israel to refer to an individual who doesn't use his intelligence properly. It's bad P.R. for a really great vegetable. It's low in calories, an excellent source of vitamin C and dietary fiber, and it appears to lower the risk of certain types of cancer.

As a food, cabbage is kind of neutral. It allows you to dress it up with caraway or dress it down with mayonnaise and sour cream. It can be spicy, sweet or savory, according to your liking.

Cabbage tends to get invited to all the functions. Dressed as coleslaw, it really brings back memories: picnics, parties, corned beef sandwiches, and barbecues. Coleslaw is easy, quick, travels well and needs no cooking. Traditional coleslaw can get a little too routine, and from a good cook you can expect to find some creativity. I found that when I started looking, the alternatives were endless. Each type of slaw provides the same benefits as the traditional ones.

Don't be a cabbage head! Use these alternative recipes.

-- Chef Herschel

* * *

Hatian Coleslaw

Serrano chilies give this dish a real kick, the lime juice makes it refreshing. Bon appetite!

1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
2 tbsps. apple cider vinegar
2 tbsps. Dijon mustard
2 tbsps. chopped fresh dill
1 tbsp. sugar
2 small serrano chilies, seeded, minced (about 2 1/2 tsps.)
1 garlic clove minced
1 tsp. celery seeds
8 cups (packed) shredded cabbage (about 1 1/4 lbs.)
2 cups (packed) shredded carrots (about 2 large)

Combine the first 10 ingredients in one bowl to blend. Pour over cabbage and carrots with enough dressing to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Let stand at room temperature one hour. Chill and serve cold.

Makes 6 side-dish servings.

* * *

Super Slaw

This colorful Asian-inspired salad is great with grilled ribs or chicken. Bon appetite!

6 tbsps. rice vinegar
6 tbsps. vegetable oil
5 tbsps. creamy peanut butter
3 tbsps. soy sauce
3 tbsps. (packed) golden brown sugar
2 tbsps. minced peeled fresh ginger
1 1/2 tbsps. minced garlic
5 cups thinly sliced green cabbage
2 cups thinly sliced red cabbage
2 large red or yellow bell peppers, cut into matchstick-size strips
2 medium carrots, peeled, cut into matchstick-size strips
8 large green onions, cut into matchstick-size strips
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Whisk first 7 ingredients in a small bowl to blend.

(Dressing can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes before continuing.)

Combine remaining ingredients in large bowl. Add dressing and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Makes 8 servings.

* * *

THE FOLLOWING RECIPES ARE TAKEN FROM "COOKING FOR HEALTH"

Italian-Style Cabbage Salad

Add canned white tuna (packed in water) for a delicious main course.

8 cups thinly sliced red cabbage (about 1/2 large head)
1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley
2 tbsps. drained capers
2 tbsps. olive (preferably extra-virgin)
2 tbsps. red wine vinegar
2 tbsps. water
1 tbsp. minced garlic

Combine red cabbage, parsley, and capers in large bowl.

Whisk oil, vinegar, 2 tbsps. water and garlic in small bowl to blend. Add to cabbage mixture and toss to blend. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

(Can be prepared up to 3 hours ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

PER SERVING: calories, 73; total fat, 5 g; saturated fat, 1 g; cholesterol, 0

Makes 6 servings.

* * *

Savoy Cabbage and Lemon Slaw

For a nice variation, try making this one with Napa cabbage.

8 cups finely sliced savoy cabbaage (about 1 1/4 lbs.)
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
1/2 cup low-fat (2%) buttermilk
1/2 cup low-fat mayonnaise
1/4 cup grated onion
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 tsps. grated lemon peel
1 tsp. chopped fresh thume or 1/2 tsp. dried

Combine cabbage and basil in large bowl. Whisk buttermilk, mayonnaise, grated onion, lemon juice, lemon peel and thyme in small bowl to blend. Add dressing to cabbage mixture; toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

(Can be prepared 3 hours ahead. Cover; refrigerate.)

PER SERVING: calories, 31; total fat, 2 g; saturated fat, 0.5 g; cholesterol, 8 mg

Makes 8 servings.

* * *

Apple and Raisin Slaw

An interesting and slightly sweet salad that's great with sandwiches.

5 cups coarsely chopped red cabbage (about 1/2 medium head)
5 cups coarsely chopped green cabbage (about 1/2 medium head)
1 cup coarsely grated carrots (about 2 medium)
1 large tart green apple (such as Granny Smith), cored, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup raw unsalted sunflower seeds, toasted
1 1/2 cups plain nonfat yogurt
1/2 cup chopped fresh dill or 3 tbsps. dried dillweed
2 tbsps. vegetable oil
2 tbsps. apple cider vinegar

Combine cabbages, carrots, apple, raisins, and sunflower seeds in a very large bowl.

Whisk yogurt, dill, vegetable oil and vinegar in medium bowl to blend. Add dressing to cabbage mixture and toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

(Can be prepared 3 hours ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

PER SERVING: calories, 111; total fat, 5 g; saturated fat, 1 g; cholesterol, 0

Makes 12 servings.

* * *

Celery Seed Coleslaw

This pretty slaw with a celery seed and cider vinegar dressing is perfect for a picnic.

8 cups thinly sliced green cabbage (about 1/2 large head)
2/3 cup thinly sliced green onions
1/2 cup finely chopped carrot
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
1/2 cup low-fat mayonnaise
2 tbsps. apple cider vinegar
1 tsp. celery seeds

Combine cabbage, green onions, carrots and bell pepper in large bowl. Whisk mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar and celery seeds in small bowl to blend. Add dressing to cabbage mixture and toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

(Can be prepared 3 hours ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

PER SERVING: calories, 66; total fat, 3 g; saturated fat, 1 g; cholesterol, 10 mg

Makes 6 servings.

* * *

THE FOLLOWING RECIPES ARE TAKEN FROM "RECIPES AND FOOD STYLING" by Ruth Cosineau

Fig and Carrot Slaw

Active time: 20 minutes, Start to finish: 50 minutes

3 tbsps. fresh lemon juice
2 tbsps. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
1/8 tsp. cayenne
1 lb. carrots, cut into julienne strips (4 cups) 1/2 cup thinly sliced soft dried Mission figs (6)

Whisk together lemon juice, sugar, salt, cumin, and cayenne in a large bowl until sugar and salt are dissolved. Add carrots and figs and toss well. Let stand, uncovered, at room temperature, tossing occasionally, until carrots are wilted, about 30 minutes.

Makes about 3 cups.

* * *

Creamy Slaw

Active time: 15 minutes, Start to finish: 45 minutes

1/3 cup mayonnaise
3 tbsps. sour cream
2 tbsps. cider vinegar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper
1 1/2 lb. green cabbage, cored and thinly sliced (6 cups)
1 carrot, shredded
1/4 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped onion

Whisk together mayonnaise and sour cream in a large bowl until smooth, then whisk in vinegar, salt, and pepper. Add remaining ingredients and toss well. Let stand, uncovered, at room temperature, tossing occasionally, until wilted, about 30 minutes.

Makes about 5 cups.

* * *

Red and Green Cabbage Slaw with Caraway

Active time: 15 minutes, Start to finish: 1 1/4 hours

1/4 cup cider vinegar
1 tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tbsp. olive oil
3/4 tsp. caraway seeds, coarsely crushed
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 lb. red cabbage, cored and thinly sliced (4 cups)
1 lb. green cabbage, cored and thinly sliced (4 cups)
1 tart apple

Whisk together vinegar, sugar, and salt in a large bowl until sugar and salt are dissolved, then whisk in oil, caraway, and pepper. Add cabbages and toss well. Let stand, uncovered, at room temperature, tossing occasionally, until wilted, about 1 hour. Core apple, then cut into thin matchsticks and toss with slaw.

Makes about 6 cups.

* * *

Spicy Savoy Slaw

Active time: 20 minutes, Start to finish: 50 minutes

5 tbsps. seasoned rice vinegar
1 tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1-2 tsps. minced fresh serrano chile (including seeds)
1 tsp. finely grated peeled fresh ginger
1 1/2 tsps. Asian sesame oil
1 1/2 lb. Savoy cabbage, thinly sliced (6 cups)
1/4 lb. snow peas, trimmed and very thinly sliced lengthwise (1 cup)
1/4 red bell pepper, cut into thin matchsticks.

Whisk together vinegar, sugar, and salt in a large bowl until sugar and salt are dissolved, then whisk in chili, ginger, and sesame oil. Add remaining ingredients and toss well. Let stand, uncovered, at room temperature, tossing occasionally, until wilted, about 30 minutes.

Makes about 6 cups.

* * *

THE FOLLOWING RECIPE IS TAKEN FROM "THE JERUSALEM POST MAGAZINE"

Tangy Cucumber and Red Cabbage Salad

Although there are plenty of vegetables in the soup, it's always a pleasure to begin the meal with some fresh crunchy raw vegetables. Here is a colorful, easy salad with a bit of a Chinese touch, flavored with green onion, rice vinegar, soy sauce and ginger. If you don't have rice vinegar, substitute another mild vinegar. An untraditional but tasty partner for the salad is dark bread like pumpernickel or whole wheat spread with a little soft white cheese.

2 medium cucumbers
2 tbsps. rice vinegar
1 tsp. sugar
pinch of ground ginger
2-3 tsps. vegetable oil
2 1/2 cups shredded red cabbage
fresh ground pepper

Cut cucumbers in thin slices. Whisk vinegar, sugar and ginger in a small bowl until sugar dissolves. Whisk in soy sauce and oil. In a salad bowl, toss cucumbers, red cabbage and green onion with dressing. Season to taste with pepper.

Makes 4 servings.


CLEANING FOODS FROM INSECT INFESTATION
By Chef Herschel

The Sages say that refraining from eating insects in food was sufficient reason for God to take us out of Egypt. Ingesting insects along with our food, is prohibited by the Torah.

In regard to checking fruit or vegetables for infestation, it is best to contact a local competent Orthodox Rabbi for advice. In addition, I use the pamphlet Cleaning Food From Insect Infestation (A Guide to Bug-Free Eating) based on the classes of Rav Moshe Vayeh.

When I use vegetables that are problematic in regard to infestation, I use “Gush Katif” products that are grown in a way to insure that bugs are not a problem and they only need light checking.

If you are not fortunate enough to have “Gush Katif” products, below is the suggested method of checking cabbage which is found in Rav Moshe Vayeh’s pamphlet:

SUGGESTED METHOD FOR CHECKING CABBAGE (RED AND GREEN)

For Cooking:

  1. Remove the outer 3 leaves, check for a hole going into the cabbage.
  2. Wrap in a plastic bag and freeze for at least 48 hours.
  3. Thaw, but not completely.
  4. While still half-frozen, separate and rinse each leaf well under a strong stream of water. Be sure to get every fold and every corner on both sides of the leaf. It is best also to rub the leaf with your hand at the same time. It is recommended with the first few cabbages that you clean this way, then to check the leaves visually with through-lighting, to make sure you are rinsing well enough. After the first few times, once you get the hang of it, you can rely on the cleaning without checking.

For Salad:

  1. Cut in halves or quarters (for convenience) and separate the leaves.
  2. Soak in soapy water.
  3. Rinse leaf by leaf under a strong stream of water, making sure the water reaches every fold and every corner on both sides of the leaf.
  4. It’s advisable with the first few cabbages that you clean this way, then to check the leaves visually with through-lighting (for red cabbage – under the light).

Cabbage, Specially Grown Insect-Free:

  1. Check a few leaves (3-6).
  2. If these are clean, no further checking is necessary.
  3. If insects are found, treat as regular cabbage.

Published: June 21, 2003


Give Tzedakah! Help Aish.com create inspiring
articles, videos and blogs featuring timeless Jewish wisdom.

Visitor Comments: 3

(3) Mike, June 23, 2003 12:00 AM

Milchig

Savoy Cabbage and Lemon Slaw is prepared with buttermilk, which is Milchig. So be careful in a barbeque situation !

(2) Anonymous, June 22, 2003 12:00 AM

wonderfully creative recipes

Thank you Chef Herschel for finding such interesting and easy to do recipes.

(1) Vicki Lopow, June 22, 2003 12:00 AM

Coleslaw recipes

What a terrific array of cabbage salad recipes. I'm looking forward to trying each one. As always - many thanks! VRL

Submit Your Comment:

  • Display my name?

  • Your email address is kept private. Our editor needs it in case we have a question about your comment.


  • * required field 2000
Submit Comment
stub
Sign up today!