Come warm days, I crave vegetable salads more than anything else. The lighter the salad, the better. Although at times I don’t mind going for substantial and filling ones. This is a classic Ukrainian salad, very light and healthy. You can serve it as a start-up salad or as a side dish to meats. Enjoy! Ahem..Let met try it in Ukrainian now – Priyemnoho Apetitu!
Ukrainian Cabbage Salad (Salat z kapusty)
Barely adapted from “Culinaria: Russian, Ukraine, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan”
My notes: Traditionally the salad is garnished with a small amount of lingonberries or cranberries. Once, I’ve tried it with fresh cranberries, chopped coarsely and it worked great. Another time, I’ve added barberries, like in the picture above. It was good too. Dried cranberries or sour cherries would work too. The goal is to add a pleasant tang to the salad, and sour berries do the job nicely. Plus, they make for an eye-catching presentation. Use whichever berry is in season.
Serves about 4
Small cabbage head, about 1 pound, shredded
1 tablespoon salt
1 medium apple, peeled and cut into matchstick strips
3-4 tablespoons chopped green onion – green parts only
Olive oil, to taste (traditionally sunflower oil is used)
Freshly squeezed juice of lemon, to taste
Salt, to taste
Ground black pepper, to taste
Sugar to taste (optional)
A tablespoonful of sour berries, such as cranberries, fresh or dried, lingonberries, or dried barberries or sour cherries) – for garnish
Place the cabbage in a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon salt. Mix, squeezing with your hands to soften, about a minute. Leave aside for 15 minutes, to allow the juices to extract. Squeeze the cabbage with your hands to remove as much moisture as possible. Try not to mash them. They should be tender but should still hold their shape. Place the cabbage back in the bowl.
Add the apple and green onions. Add the olive oil, lemon juice to taste. Season with salt if needed (the cabbage may still have some salt, so don’t over-salt), and black pepper to taste. Sprinkle with a little sugar, if you wish (optional). Toss to combine. Transfer to a serving bowl. Garnish with berries of your choice.