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Crunchy Lime Cabbage Slaw

February 18, 2008

There’s something about this time of year. The excitement (for me at least) of the first snowfall and the “newness” of the cold, festive winter weather has worn off — but we’re not anywhere near a definite start to spring. Here in upstate New York, we might not start getting consistently warmer, spring-like weather until mid-May…so to me, February through April is kind of like winter limbo. Here’s where I run into the problem: I start to anticipate all the spring-like things to come in February and March, a few months earlier than I know full-on spring will settle in. (Could it have to do with all those packets of vegetable and flower seeds that finally arrived this week?)

Don’t get me wrong, I love my warm winter soups, roasted root vegetables (roasted anything, actually), and smells of warm things baking in the kitchen. But right about this time of year I start to think about emerging from “nesting” mode and yearn for something with a decidedly fresher, crisper, “spring-ier” taste. Bonus points if the food is a “spring-like” color — in other words, green, green, green.

So this probably explains why we have been gobbling up this lime cabbage slaw by the bowlful lately, multiple times a week! It’s dead easy to put together, and is just the remedy for these mid-winter blues. I had been thinking about making something like this when I happened to see a similar recipe in the latest issue of Bon Appetit — though theirs uses red cabbage and slightly different proportions. We’ve eaten this on its own as a side dish, as a salad with some slices of avocado (yes, more green!) and piled into tortillas with fajita-style chicken and queso fresco. It’s best if you can let it sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld and the cabbage to soak up a little of the acid, so if you’re serving this with something else, make it first and let it sit while you prepare the rest of your meal.

Take a citrusy, crunchy bite and maybe you, too, can start imagining all the good things to come this spring!

Crunchy Lime Cabbage Slaw


1/2 head green cabbage, core removed and sliced very thinly (about 4 cups)
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
zest of 1 lime (about 1 tsp)
juice of 1 lime (about 2 tbsp)
1/4 cup chopped cilantro

coarse salt and pepper, to taste


Place the thinly sliced cabbage in a large bowl.

In a smaller bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lime zest, and lime juice. Pour over the cabbage and toss to combine. Add the chopped cilantro and toss until it’s distributed throughout. Season with coarse salt and pepper (you really do need to season it with salt) — start with about 1/4 tsp salt and work your way up from there if it needs it, according to your taste.

Let the cabbage sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes, to allow the flavors to meld.

Serves about 4.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. trackellalouise permalink
    February 22, 2008 12:44 am

    I live in Wyoming, and I am having the same cravings for spring-like foods! Last week asparagus was on sale, and I couldn’t get enough of it, as it screams “SPRING IS COMING” to me. I will definitely try this slaw!

  2. February 22, 2008 7:59 am

    trackellalouise, enjoy! I can’t wait to see asparagus here. 🙂

  3. February 19, 2009 8:35 am

    Hi! I was looking for something to do with this head of cabbage and came across your recipe. I made it, with the addition of a red hot chili. Tasty! I hope there are no negative side effects to eating a half of a head of cabbage … cuz that’s what I just did. Thanks for the recipe – great blog! (Those canolis look YUM.)

  4. February 22, 2009 4:40 pm

    This sounds fantastic! And so healthy!

    I am so glad Monica mentioned your blog on her site too 🙂

  5. inatizzy2 permalink
    November 25, 2009 4:26 pm

    This is a great salad! Something different from the norm. You can also add fresh garlic to this too and it REALLY makes it great! Thanks for the recipe. I have had this with lemon juice before but not the lime. YUMMY

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