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 (Î»Î±Ï‡Î±Î½Î¿ÏƒÎ±Î»Î¬Ï„Î±)
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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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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