7 Delicious Raw Cabbage Recipes

Cabbage, over the years, has come to be known as one of those vegetables that have gotten somewhat of a bad reputation amongst the food your parents forced onto your plate. Just another part of a classic roast thanksgiving dinner, overshadowed by its more appetizing vegetable neighbors like potatoes, carrots, and broccoli. And that’s a shame

The story of cabbage as food has got a surprising amount of mystery in its history. Originally grown in Europe sometime around 1000BC, but no one is quite sure by who, it’s a good few thousand years before it eventually has its savoy shape that most of us would recognize this green leaf by in the 16th century. 

At which point, it had already become widely used in many different types of cuisine across the continent, before spreading around the world as a staple of many people’s diets as the resident greenery. That’s a lot of time for a vegetable to be cultivated, prepared, and served to millions of different people.

Were there different kinds of cabbage that we’ve since lost to the pages of history? Considering that it shares a common plant family with cauliflower, kale, brussel sprouts, broccoli, and a ton of other classic vegetables, that might very well be the case.

Back to the present though, in terms of cooking, many of us may not have too many fond memories of it on our plates. Whether it made you gassy because you always ate too much, or it was just boiled too much for it to have any flavor or texture, these leafy greens have probably been a part of your diet at some point, and often leaving nothing, or worse, a foul taste in your mouth.

And that’s a shame. Being packed full of vitamins, great at aiding digestion in the right amount, a healthy way of preventing the buildup of symptoms that lead to cardiovascular disease, and surprisingly good a treating inflammation in and around the body.

Cabbage has got a lot going for it, and we shouldn’t be put off by it, all because of some bad examples of cooking when we were younger. There are so many ways to prepare those many green leaves for a meal, whether it’s pickling them, steaming them, stewing them, sauteing them. There’s a lot of versatility going around for these humble little vegetables.

Here are just some of the great recipes you can make with raw cabbage.

1. Classic Coleslaw

A classic recipe when talking about great meals that use cabbage well, coleslaw is a favorite side dish for any occasion, be it in a buffet, a picnic, or a barbeque.

The fact that it’s a recipe that requires no cooking, let’s the cabbage, whether it’s green or purple, keep that crunch to it that helps give it some character as a food. And with a lot of other similar veggies like onions and carrots, all freshly chopped and lightly coated in a fresh tangy dressing makes it a great addition to any table it is at.

Simply finely chop all your ingredients together, mix the sauces and dressings, pour over your vegetables, mix it all up nice and good, and you’re good to serve. It’s as simple as that! Don’t forget to make plenty of that dressing, so that people will always come back for more!

2. Red Cabbage Salad

If you’re looking for a burst of color in your salads, then you’ll want to try this bright purple recipe for a change. Whether a side for a meal or as extra filling in a burger or sandwich, this purple plate of goodness is a great complement to any main meal.

For this dish, green cabbage will also work just fine of course. They are the same plant after all. But with that deep vivid purple helping distinguish it from a regular old salad, and with the peppering of those carrots yellow beets, and almonds, it’ll be as much a feast for the eyes as it will for your tastebuds!

Simply chop up your necessary veg and other ingredients, grab and mix in a large bowl with the pumpkin seeds, make your dressing in a separate bowl or jar, then toss your vegetables in it

Just remember to keep your cabbage cuttings thick for that extra texture when chewing, and to keep your chopped veggies and dressing separate until you are ready to serve. That way, they’ll last longer.

3. Raw Cabbage with Cumin

Simple is the name of the game in this particular recipe. With only a few ingredients on the ingredients list this time, it’s impressive what you can make with just a few items and a good recipe!

With the traditional ingredients of a good salad like cabbage and carrots, as well as the fragrance of the crushed cumin seeds, plus the sweetness from the apple, this dish is a great combination of savory and sweet that becomes more than just its parts.

Just mix your vinaigrette with the cumin seeds you have already crushed, place your finely chopped carrots and cabbage in a bowl, core and thinly slice your apple, still with its skin on, pour your 2-part dressing over them, and toss until you’re ready to serve. Just make sure to leave your salad in a cool place for a good 15-20 minutes, so all the flavors have a chance to mix.

4. Balsamic Cabbage

If simplicity is the aim of the game, then these two parts of balsamic vinegar and cabbage probably have every other recipe beat! If there wasn’t already proof that cabbage is a great vegetable in pretty much any circumstance, then this is the proof

The recipe is as simple as it sounds: Add your shredded cabbage to a bowl, throw in your balsamic vinegar, toss and serve. That’s all there is to it!

If you feel like it’s not enough, feel free to add any sort of spices or seasoning of your choosing. With a recipe this simple, it’s hard to go wrong with it.

5. Mediterranean Cabbage Salad/Coleslaw (with no Mayo)

If you’re looking to put some variety in the classic side dish we’ve already talked about, then this no mayo edition might be just what you’re looking for.

With such a solid base for the ingredients for coleslaw, it’s no wonder that so many different kitchens have managed to put their stamp on the staple.

Trading out the traditional mayonnaise you’d usually find for a combination of vinaigrette, dijon mustard, and extra virgin olive oil, this alternate dressing lets the colors and flavors of your vegetables shine, especially the extras that this recipe chooses to add that lend to a different kind of fresh ‘slaw.

Make sure to make the mustard vinaigrette in a separate bowl, before throwing all your vegetables and seasonings together in another big bowl, gently mixing before adding your dressing, and tossing for that thorough coating. Just remember to let it sit in a cool place for a good 30-60 minutes before serving, to let that dressing and those veggies mix those flavors together.

6. Green Cabbage and Parmesan Coleslaw

A lot of the recipes we’ve been listing and talking about have been using red cabbage, so perhaps it’s time to show its green counterpart some appreciation with this dish.

Coleslaw is probably one of the best recipes that use cabbage, given the variety we’ve already showcased, and this Mediterranean is once again proof of that. With the parmesan and basil making great seasoning, this is a great side to have for any main course you’re prepping.

Just cut or shred your cabbage into thin strips, mix your dressing ingredients, toss your cabbage and basil together for a quick minute with the dressing, throw over your grated parmesan, drizzle some balsamic vinegar over for extra flavor, and you’re good to go.

Remember to get rid of that outer shell and core of your cabbage before adding them with your other ingredients for the best result.

7. Sweet Sesame-Lime Cabbage Salad

It’s back to basics, but with a twist, with this simple yet tangy recipe that uses this underappreciated champion vegetables of salad dishes.

Your staples of cabbage salads like cabbage and spring onions return along with the main ingredient. The key ingredient that adds to this salad is the unique dressing that is used. The sesame and lime combination gives it a particularly sour and sweetness to it, all whilst still taking under half an hour to prepare everything else for your dish.

Mix all your garnishes and oils in a large bowl to get your dressing, then add all your chopped vegetables in, and tools to get the even coat you’re looking for in any good salad. Let it sit for ¼ of an hour, and you’re ready to chow down!

Make sure to adjust the mix for your tastebuds with extra lime juice, garlic, or apple cider vinegar.

Brett White
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