Wilted cabbage-carrot salad with pickled lemon


Wilted cabbage salad is nearly ubiquitous at Israeli street food joints and in mezze spreads, and my 4-year-old son is a cabbage salad addict. You should see him greedily shoving bowlful after bowlful of tart, oily cabbage into his mouth at the neighborhood falafel and shwarma joints. Quite a few falafel stand owners have taken notice and sent us home with an extra container of cabbage salad.

But being an experienced toddler, he knows inconsistency is key, and gives off squeals of disproval should I dare serve a similar wilted cabbage salad at home. Sometimes I manage to remind him that he likes the stuff. When that works, that cabbage salad is a goner.

This super-simple salad is a riff on the wilted cabbage salad that’s nearly ubiquitous at Israeli street food joints and mezze spreads. It takes an extra sweet-savory twist from the preserved lemon and jaggery.

Plus, my toddler eats it. Some days.

For about 2 liters of cabbage salad:

1 small-medium cabbage
4-6 carrots
1/4 cup cider vinegar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
heaping 2 tablespoons preserved lemon
3 tablespoons raw sugar cane (jaggery)
1 tablespoon sea salt

Thinly slice the cabbage, and grate the carrots. Remove the seeds from the lemon, and finely chop. Finely chop the jaggery if it’s solid, so that you have a sprinkling consistency.

Mix all the ingredients together in a container, and let sit for at least an hour, mixing occasionally. I put everything into a plastic container with a lid, and shake every once so often.

This salad improves over the course of a day in the fridge as the flavors mix and the cabbage continues to wilt.

You could consider adding other thinly sliced root vegetables to this, such as kohlrabi.

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