Cabbage Salad with a Latin American Twist

Cabbage Salad—So Good It’ll Surprise You!

Yield: 4 servings

By Jennifer Cornbleet

Note from the Chef: 

Cabbage Salad

Something about the phrase “Cabbage Salad” sounds a little boring, doesn’t it?

Well I want to make a pitch for poor old cabbage salad—because it’s become one of my absolute favorite lunches lately!

Cabbage has a few advantages over lettuce at lunchtime, and deserves to be in your regular rotation. Here’s why.

First you can pre-make and even pre-dress the salad if you choose and it will keep overnight.

Second, it’s more filling and satisfying than plain lettuce—great for a midday main dish salad.

And third, cabbage is so good for you. It’s a cruciferous vegetable with lots of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. Plus it’s loaded with fiber.

I first fell in love with cabbage salad when I traveled to Costa Rica in high school. Since lettuce doesn’t grow well in the climate there, cabbage salad (Ensalada de Repollo) is a staple at most meals.

Latin American Cabbage Salads are different from many American coleslaws in that there’s no mayonnaise—olive oil and lemon or lime, plus some onion, are used instead—and that tastes better to me, and more refreshing.

The trick to taking cabbage salad, or slaw, into the “Oh my Goodness, this is Amazing!” realm is all in how you spice it (hint—I like it just a little spicy).



1 head napa, savoy, or green cabbage, thinly sliced

2 TBS fresh lemon or lime juice

2 TBS extra virgin olive oil

1/4 tsp. salt, or to taste

1 red bell pepper, diced

4 green onions, chopped

1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley or cilantro

2 cloves crushed garlic

2 tsp. minced jalapeno chili, or to taste

fresh ground pepper, to taste



Put the cabbage, lemon juice, olive oil, and salt in a large bowl and massage with your hands, to soften the cabbage a little.  Add the remaining ingredients and toss well to combine.




Jennifer Cornbleet from the USA is a nationally recognized raw-food chef and instructor, a long-time faculty member at Living Light Culinary Institute in California, and the author of the best-selling Raw Food Made Easy for 1 or 2 People.  She lectures and holds classes in the Bay Area and nationwide.


For more information about Jennifer Cornbleet, visit or

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