Guest Author - Katherine Huether
As a child, my favorite salad was the Greek cabbage salad that my grandmother and mother would prepare. In my family this consisted of finely shaved cabbage dressed with olive oil, fresh lemon juice, and salt. And thatís how I still prepare it. I prefer this simple recipe over any of the others Iíve tasted.
However, Iíve seen recipes for Lahanosalata that differ greatly depending on where you find them. Some use Greek dressing, others use the lemon vinaigrette that my family favors, and others dress it with olive oil and vinegar. And the ingredients differ. Some include feta cheese and olives. Others included carrots sliced julienne style or chopped celery. Some have radishes in them, and others include big cloves of fresh garlic.
Whoís right? Probably everyone. Recipes differ from family to family, region to region. So, in the spirit of this, Iíve included a basic recipe with full instructions with a list of possible embellishments and substitutions to follow.
Cooking is about more than following a recipe exactly as it is written. And if you know anything about the Greek family kitchen, you know that most of the home chefs do things by feel and taste. You are encouraged to put your own stamp on this recipe and take it to your next potluck. It is light and refreshing and I particularly like it as an accompaniment to meat such as lamb or chicken fresh from the grill.
1 lemon, juiced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon coarse salt such as kosher salt
1 medium cabbage, finely shaved with a sharp knife
In a large mixing boil add lemon, olive oil, and coarse salt and blend with a whisk. Add finely shaved cabbage and toss until the cabbage is well coated with the vinaigrette. If you want to add any optional ingredients, add them with the cabbage and toss everything together. You may garnish with some chopped fresh parsley or dill.
Optional Ingredients for the Lahanosalata
You can add these ingredients in addition to the cabbage. You may find that you will need to adjust the amount of vinaigrette should you choose to add a lot of extras. Also, if you can think of anything else you want to add that I have not listed, feel free to give it a try.
If you want to try something other than lemon juice, olive oil, and salt for a dressing, you can use oil and vinegar or bottled Greek dressing.
Ĺ cup chopped kalamata olives
Ĺ cup crumbled feta
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 medium carrots, finely chopped or julienned
4 small radishes, finely chopped or julienned
1 bunch fresh scallions, thinly sliced
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
Next time I make Lahanosalata, I may experiment with some of these ingredients and come up with my own salad.