Salads are a wonderful way to add variety and nutrition to the table. This one is seriously loaded with crunch, zest and deliciousness. Made with simple ingredients and can be prepped well ahead of a party, this salad is a favorite for all your festivities, big or small.
As spring turns into summer, I am keenly aware that we need to have salads on our table more often. As a California resident, we are so incredibly blessed with the hundreds of crops the state grows. And as a result, we find ourselves feasting on all seasonal veggies.
For instance, we feast on all things squash in the winter and we do many, many soups. Well, we actually do soups year round because we love soups. And because we have modern day air conditioning. 😉
But as the seasons turn, I long to have more salads than hot sides with our dinner. Interestingly, I grew up with this salad and many Slavic households have their version of Cabbage and Cucumber Salad. Cabbage is a very cost efficient food (read: cheap) and it happens to be on the clean 15 list so no worries if you can’t source an affordable organic cabbage for that salad or coleslaw. We regularly have cabbage in our refrigerator because I use it constantly in various dishes. (See also: Russian Beet Borsch and Simple Sauerkraut)
But as summer rolls around and cucumbers start coming in (we’ve already had a few – I know so so crazy – I thank all the horse manure on the property ;)), there’s another dish that calls for cabbage. It’s this salad. It’s this super easy, healthy, fresh and delicious salad. You most likely have all the ingredients on hand making this a super simple salad.
The cabbage can either be finely chopped or shredded. You can easily shred with a mandolin slicer (watch those fingers!) and the fine ribbons of cabbage give a more delicate texture to this salad. No slicer? No worries, just chop as finely as you can.
Season with salt and set aside to release juices after combining. Prepare the rest of the ingredients and then combine everything together for a fine salad. Didn’t I say this was an easy salad?
Related: The Real Food Guide to Salt
Ultimate Party Food
I love making this salad for large parties as it holds up really well during warmer months and is therefore awesome for barbeques and graduation parties and pool shenanigans. You can even prepare all the ingredients together, except for the salt and pepper and wet ingredients and have it kept in cold storage for days leading up to the party. Add salt and pepper, lemon juice and oil just before serving and you have a large salad ready to be devoured. Doing it this way, the salad will stay fresh and crispy the longest. (See recipe card for details.)
Even if you happen to have leftovers, this salad will still be okay long after the party is over if kept in the refrigerator. Unlike many lettuce salads (I still love you, my dearest Caesar!), this cabbage salad has a long shelf life when stored in cold storage. Of course, you wouldn’t want to keep it past it’s prime of 3-4 days but you would be amazed how crispy the cabbage still is after the first day. And then the second. And the third.
Cabbage and Cucumber Salad
So let’s recap, this salad is easy on the wallet, boasts seasonal veggies, simple to make, can be made days in advance, and is an easy party salad – sign.me.up! I promise, I won’t tell Caesar you replaced him with this humble brassica. 😉
Cabbage and Cucumber Salad
With minimal ingredients, this salad comes together easily and can be made days in advance. It's also a great cost-efficient food since cabbage is relatively inexpensive.
- 1/2 head white cabbage shredded or chopped
- 2 persian cucumbers sliced
- 2 tablespoons fresh dill chopped
- 2 tablespoons green onions chopped
- 2 teaspoon unrefined salt divided
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- 3 tablespoons avocado or extra virgin olive oil
- additional salt and pepper to taste
Finely shred or chop cabbage, discarding the cores (or composting). Season with 1 teaspoon of salt and mix thoroughly with hands pressing into the cabbage to help release natural juices. Set aside
Add chopped cucumbers, fresh dill and green onions.
Squeeze the juice of one lemon. Add additional salt and pepper to taste. Pour oil and combine well.
Store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. See notes if wanting longer storage time.
To make this days in advance: shred cabbage and set aside. Cut the remaining fresh ingredients and keep separate from cabbage. When ready to serve, season cabbage with 1 teaspoon of salt and massage well to help release juices. Add remaining ingredients, including lemon juice and oil and combine well.