Recipe: Cabbage


By Jenny Osburn | The Union Street Cafe Cookbook |


Jenny Osburn is the author of The Union Street Café Cookbook. Her second collaboration with Laura MacDonald of Deep Hollow Print, The Kitchen Party Cookbook, is now available! Find more recipes at and see what she’s up to on Instagram at jenny.osburn


Happy New Year!  It’s January and lots of us are craving something green and crunchy after all the chocolate and cheese. Imported romaine lettuce is pricey and possibly dicey. What’s a local food lover to do in a Nova Scotia winter?


There are actually some beautiful, tasty options, including greenhouse-grown lettuce mixes, pea shoots, and the incredibly hardy kale. AND THERE IS CABBAGE.


We keep cabbage in our fridge all winter. And we enjoy, even CRAVE, cabbage on almost a daily basis. Whether it’s cooked quickly in a Thai curry, cooked slowly with smoked pork chops, shredded to top tacos, or sliced thinly into one of our favourite salads, cabbage wins!


Why Cabbage is Better than Lettuce (in Winter)


  1. It waits patiently in your fridge until such time as you feel like eating salad.
  2. It doesn’t need to be washed, just tear off any discoloured leaves and chop.
  3. It contains lots of fiber and vitamin C.
  4. It can be found almost everywhere and it’s cheap.
  5. It’s local, delicious and super versatile.


To convert your family (and possibly yourself) into cabbage salad lovers, make sure to cut the cabbage thinly. I sometimes use a mandoline but usually, I just cut the cored cabbage into 1 or 2-inch wedges, lay them on a flat side, then cut thinly from tip to tip. Resting time is also important as salt and acids soften up the cabbage subtly. I consider this a plus because cabbage salad can be made in advance AND any leftovers are even better the next day (something that can’t be said for lettuce-based salads!).


Here are some of my favourite combinations. To make any of them, start with red or green cabbage. Whisk any dressing ingredients in a small bowl, then pour over the cabbage and remaining ingredients, tossing well. Let sit for a few minutes before serving.



Sesame Slaw

  • 2 C finely shredded green or red cabbage
  • 1 medium carrot, grated
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt


Caesar Cabbage Salad

  • 2 C shredded cabbage
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
  • 1/4 C finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 slices bacon, cooked and chopped (optional)


(Pine)Apple Cabbage Salad

  • 2 C shredded cabbage
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 C diced fresh pineapple or apple (leave the peel on the apple)
  • 1/4 C diced red or yellow onion
  • 1 Tbsp olive or sunflower oil (optional)
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice or vinegar