Lahana Salata: Turkish Cabbage & Carrot Salad

Cabbage again?! What can I say…it’s St. Patrick’s Day! And cabbage is even cheaper than normal so I can’t resist the temptation. This is barely a recipe though. It’s just a way to eat cabbage. But it’s a way that Chad will eat cabbage so you know it passes the taste and picky-eater tests. It’s technically a Turkish salad called lahana salata but most recipes call for pepper and I think it’s good with or without. I leave it pepper-less and let people add pepper themselves. At the Turkish restaurant where I used to work, my boss made his salad with green and red cabbage (2 parts green to 1 part red) but that turned pink after a few hours. Pink salad is even less appetizing to a farm boy. I use all green.

So I suppose you could say that I’m trying to get in the Irish spirit by making a Turkish dish. Strange? Yes. Normal for me? Also yes. I blame Chad for not wanting corned beef because he “only likes corned beef once in a while.” Pfft. We haven’t made corned beef since New Years but Chad wants steak for St. Patrick’s Day. And he wants a chance to cook since I’ve been commandeering the kitchen for a while now. So here is my side dish suggestion for your St. Patrick’s Day eating. It’s not heavy and calorie-laden either so you shouldn’t feel guilty about drinking all that green beer.

1/2 head of green cabbage
2 carrots
2 big pinches of salt (plus more to taste)
1/4 C vegetable oil (don’t use olive oil–it will make the cabbage taste off)
3 Tbsp lemon juice

Grating the carrots is simple enough, but I’m pretty picky about the slicing of the cabbage. I like to cut the head of cabbage in half and then slice that half into thirds. Then I slice, using a sharp knife, into 1/4 inch or 1/2 centimeter slices. Dump the cabbage and shredded carrots by the handful into a medium bowl. Sprinkle on the salt and pour on the oil and lemon juice. Toss with spoons or mix with your hands.

It’s so simple and refreshing. This salad is a fantastic accompaniment to spicy foods or any sandwich. I’ve never been one for coleslaw anyway.


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