Lebanese red cabbage salad

With colorful red cabbage, kale and carrots, this crunchy salad gets a kick from lemon juice and some nuanced savor from za'atar, a blend of Middle eastern spices. 

A Palatable Pastime
Not a slaw, not a chopped salad, this very simply dressed salad is the perfect accompaniment to Middle Eastern foods.

My husband, Bill, and I recently were down in Cincinnati using up a Groupon to a Lebanese restaurant we had never been to before called Cafe Mediterranean.

He had ordered some salmon in grape leaves and a similar salad was also on the plate. I tasted it since he said how much he liked it, It was fairly simple, albeit theirs did not have kale.

So recently when I was making ground lamb shish kebabs, I knew this was just the thing to go with. I hadn’t planned as such to put the kale in there, but I had a bunch from the local farmer’s market and felt it would add a ton of great color, as well as making it even healthier.

This doesn’t have a flavor like coleslaw if you were wondering. It is a bit zippy from the lemon (as is usual in Middle Eastern recipes) but not overly so. The za’atar spice adds a  little bit of depth of flavor to it. It is great as an unobtrusive side for a pita sandwich, and if you are daring, you can also use this as a topping for your meat on pita. Either way it is sure to please.

Servings: 4-6 Time: 2hr 30mins Difficulty: easy


12 ounces finely shredded red cabbage
1 medium carrot, finely shredded
4-5 kale leaves, finely shredded (about 1.5 ounces)
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon za’atar spice
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon granulated sugar
lemon slices to garnish (optional)

Whisk together dressing and toss with vegetables.

Related post on A Palatable Pastime: Ground Lamb Shish Kebabs on Pita

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