Cabbage Salad (λαχανοσαλάτα)

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Greeks eat according to the seasons. In the summer, Greeks will have the bounty of their garden with tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers to make the world famous Greek salad. Although these vegetables are now also available in the winter, there’s a definite shift in ingredients during the winter months. Taste, cost and a little bit of old habit all are at play.

Winter vegetables appear on the Greek table and one in particular that I’m highlighting today is the cabbage. You’ll see heads of regular white cabbage being pickled, made into cabbage rolls or shredded to make a winter salad. Other vegetables that appear in this winter salad are carrots, celery and radishes.

Traditionally the old world cabbage is finely sliced and tossed with other vegetables, given a quick cure and served cool or room temperature. The varieties of cabbage available have opened up both in Greece and in western markets. I like using Napa cabbage because no cure is needed (the cabbage is already very tender), Napa’s cabbage is mild and I still get the crispness of a salad.

The dressing is pretty simple: Greek extra-virgin olive oil, some minced garlic, honey, lemon juice and a light hand with some Greek yogurt. There’s a touch of creamyness, some acid from the lemon juice, fruity olive oil, a little honey for some balance and some chopped fresh dill to lift the salad out of the bowl and onto your plate.

Cabbage Salad (λαχανοσαλάτα)

(serves 4-6)

4 cups of Napa cabbage, thinly sliced

1 stalk of celery, thinly sliced

1 carrot, passed through box grater (large holes)

4-6 radishes, thinly sliced

1 clove of garlic, minced

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil (Greek)

juice of 1/2 lemon + 1 Tbsp. wine vinegar

1 Tbsp. of honey

1 tsp. of Dijon mustard

2 heaping Tbsp. of Greek yogurt

salt and pepper to taste

1/4 cup chopped fresh dill

  1. Thinly slice your cabbage and add to a bowl. Pass your carrot through the large holes of your box grater, add your sliced carrot, sliced radishes and minced garlic. Sprinkle some sea salt over the top of the salad and crank some fresh ground pepper.
  2. In a jar, add the olive oil, mustard, honey, lemon juice and vinegar along with a pinch of salt. Place the lid on and vigorously shake. Taste and adjust to your liking.
  3. Drop your Greek yogurt on top of the salad along with the dressing and chopped dill. Gently toss until the salad is evenly dressed. Have a taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Serve immediately.

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© 2007-2010 Peter Minakis

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Peter Minakis

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23 Comments for “Cabbage Salad (λαχανοσαλάτα)”


Well Peter, this is quite an imaginative way to make a cabbage salad… and must be very tasty too! Very impressive, well done!



Hi Peter,
This looks like an interesting version of the “Politiki” or “Pikantiki” salad, right? You know the one they do in Thessaloniki sometimes with fresh cabbage and in some places with pickled (Toursi) cabbage. I do both and like to describe it to our friends as the Greek coleslaw salad!


With so much quality produce from greenhouses available all winter long it is hard to stick to eating totally seasonally. Tomatoes are delicious right now from the greenhouses, the only thing missing is that sunkissed warmth so Greek salad shows up this time of year too. I do love a good cabbage salad though, in fact I love coleslaw having grown up with it as an accompaniment for my fish and chips:D


So many think the base of a salad has to be lettuce…and that cabbage has to be dressed with mayo like cole slaw. You’ve shown them the error of their ways here.


A big fan of the cabbage salad – never saw it with yiorti though – still looks good even though I wouldn’t put yiorti in mine =)


Η αγαπημένη μας χειμωνιάτικη σαλάτα!
Ισως σε πιο απλή μορφή, αλλά πάντα νόστιμη.
Ωραία η προσθήκη του γιαουρτιού!
Φιλιά, καλό Σαββατοκύριακο!



I like the sound of that dressing. I’m going to use it in a cole slaw I’m making.
re: Jason – you can use agave syrup instead of the honey, as it’s low on the glycemic index.


Every now and then something raw and delicious hits the spot to refresh the soul. Thanks so much for this recipe – so glad the ingredients are readily available here.


Really fresh & delicious looking salad, Peter. I like the sound of the dressing a lot – I always love to use a little Greek yogurt in my dressings to make them creamy but still healthy!

d. moutsopoulos


Love, love, love this salad! I had a laxanosalata at Arxaion geuseis in Athens once, which I still crave now and then. Theirs had pomegranate, nuts and hard-boiled egg, and a similar dressing to yours. I followed your recipe to make a cross between the two, and just enjoyed it for lunch. Thank you!