If you are hosting (or even just attending) a Cinco de Mayo celebration in the next week, I have you covered. This cabbage salad has been a long time favorite of mine and is the perfect addition to a Mexican feast. It is a stand out from the endless rounds of chips and guacamole if you’re attending a potluck, and those of us who would rather save our carb allowance for a margarita will really appreciate a crisp coleslaw instead of piling on the rice and beans!
This recipe comes from my BFF Lisa, and I was lucky enough to score a handwritten copy of it when Jason’s mom threw us an engagement party 23 years ago. Knowing how much I like to cook, Nonie made the engagement party a recipe themed potluck and had each guest bring a favorite dish as well as the recipe. Lisa had to fly in for the party, so I’m not sure if she actually made the salad that day (it was a long time ago and my aging brain cannot remember all the details) but I do know I specifically asked her for this recipe. She gave me a beautiful handmade card listing out the ingredients and method, and to this day that is what I pull out when I want to recreate this particular specialty of hers.
Side note: I am really focused on that engagement party and all the great recipes we got that day. Jason’s cousin recently got married and I passed along a recipe book that Oma gave us that day where she had written down some of her most treasured recipes. Those were mostly desserts because that was what Oma loved best! Anyway, it got me thinking a lot about that party and all the great recipes that were handed down to me, so you can expect to see quite a few of them come your way in the next few months.
Lisa’s recipe calls for half a head each of red and green cabbage, but I usually don’t do that. If I was making it for a crowd I absolutely would, it looks beautiful to have both colors in there. But, with our empty nest cooking these days, I bought the smallest head of green cabbage I could find. I also added 1/4 cup of chopped cilantro, which I think she does usually put in it but possibly escaped her memory when she wrote it down. If that is the case I totally get it, I make so many things from memory and when I go to write out the recipe it can be a little tricky to make sure I get it right! Sitting on it over night in editing mode has saved many a blog post for me.
This salad is great leftover, and I do think it would be ok to make one day ahead for a big event, but I wonder if Lisa would agree with that. Maybe we’ll get lucky and she will drop us a comment below to let us know. I’m guessing she’ll say it’s ok as long as you let it come to room temperature before serving.
Lisa’s Cabbage Salad
- 1/2 head red cabbage chopped
- 1/2 head green cabbage chopped
- 1 red bell pepper diced
- 1 box frozen corn
- 1 carrot shredded
- 1 jalepeno seeded and diced
- 1/4 cup cilantro minced
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 6 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1 lemon juiced
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 2 cloves garlic pressed
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
- kosher salt to taste
- Whisk together olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, cumin, garlic, salt, and pepper in small bowl.
- Place chopped cabbage, onions, bell pepper, corn, carrot, jalepeno, and cilantro in large bowl. Pour dressing over salad and toss well to combine.
- Let stand at room temperature for at least two hours before serving.