This is essentially a slaw, but it is lighter, fresher and brighter than a typical slaw, which is often mayonnaise-, yogurt- or sour cream-based.
I liked the contrast of the lemon, which I consider a light, spring and summer flavor, with the cabbage, which is a heavier, more wintry vegetable. Using a strongly flavored, high-quality olive oil also gave this dish a boost in a very simple way.
I like this for Passover as a side because it delivers a nice contrast to the traditional heartiness of the meal and can be done well ahead, so that’s a bonus for the hosts. It is great leftover for several days and, as the cabbage wilts and absorbs more of the lemon and oil, it takes on a different texture and deeper flavor. It’s great on sandwiches (matzah or otherwise if the salad lasts beyond Pesach) after it has served its purpose as a seder side.
Citrus Cabbage Salad
I used a half head each of red and green cabbage because they looked pretty, but you can use whatever type you have available. The color variety I chose was strictly aesthetic.
This is best done several hours ahead to allow the flavors to meld and penetrate the cabbage.
½ head red cabbage
½ head green cabbage
Juice of 1 or 2 lemons
¼ cup very fruity, robust extra-virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon salt
Lots of fresh cracked pepper
Slice or grate the cabbage into a large bowl. Grate the carrots into the bowl with the cabbage. Add the lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper and toss well.
Cover the salad loosely and let it sit on the counter for several hours. Taste for seasoning and, if needed, add more lemon juice, oil, salt and/or pepper.