No Mayo Cabbage Salad

When I was a kid, I hated cabbage salad. Really hated it. I’m not a fan of mayo and to me, cabbage salad may as well have been called mayo salad. I thought it was wet and kinda slimy and just was not for me.

Since I do really enjoy cabbage, had a head of cabbage in my fridge and needed a side dish with dinner recently, I decided to make a cabbage salad. So I consulted the man I usually do when faced with the unknown, Mark Bittman. In his book How To Cook Everything, he has a cabbage salad with a tangy mustard vinaigrette. I tweaked it to make it a little less scary for my husband (used less of the mustard dressing) and added some veggies to use up what was in my fridge and make it pretty.

The dressing for this cabbage salad smells (and is!) strong but it’s not overwhelming once the salad is dressed. My husband, who says he can not stand mustard, raved about this salad and ate 2 servings of it for dinner and then happily gobbled some up for lunch the next day.

Edited to note: It has come to my attention that peppadews are not exactly a household name and may be an unknown ingredient. Peppadews (TM) are little red peppers that look a little like mini red bells. I have bought them from the olive bar of markets such as Whole Foods, Safeway/Pavillions and Bristol Farms. Recently I have started seeing them jarred in the pickle/pickled pepper aisle in the market. I don’t find them too spicy but they do have a little kick to them along with an addicting sweetness I just love. And honestly, I eat them on EVERYTHING. Want to check ‘em out, click here.

No Mayo Cabbage Salad
Serves 4
1/2 green cabbage, shredded (about 3-4 cups)
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1/4 c peppadew peppers, thinly sliced
1 large green onion, split in half and thinly sliced
2-3 T parsley, minced
2 t dijon mustard
2 t sherry vinegar
1 garlic clove
2-3 t olive oil, or more to taste
salt and pepper

  1. In a small bowl, whisk mustard, vinegar and garlic clove until blended.
  2. Slowly drizzle in olive oil until incorporated and dressing comes together and thickens slightly.  Taste and add a bit more olive oil (while whisking!) if it’s TOO tart.  It is a tangy dressing so it will have some bite to it.  Try to resist adding a lot of extra oil as the salad will get slimy.
  3. In salad bowl, add cabbage, green onions, red bell pepper and peppadew peppers.
  4. Add dressing to vegetable mixture and toss well.
  5. Refrigerate for an hour to let flavors fully develop.
  6. Toss salad, taste and adjust salt and pepper.
  7. Just before serving, add parsley. Toss.
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