My love affair with cab­bage began in my post-college kitchen, when I worked my way through Lorna Sass’ Short-Cut Veg­e­tar­ian. Sass uses cab­bage in a ton of recipes, and I can see why: it’s cheap, it’s plen­ti­ful, and it’s so ver­sa­tile. A few weeks ago, with a han­ker­ing for some­thing spicy, I tried out Smit­ten Kitchen’s every­day yel­low dal and the accom­pa­ny­ing slaw. The dal was good, but the slaw was out of this world. Two nights later, with the other half of the cab­bage, I made it again.

Help, I can’t stop mak­ing this slaw. It’s so good! Bonus: it works with red cab­bage too.
photo of red cabbage slaw

Cab­bage Slaw (adapted from the ever-awesome Smit­ten Kitchen)

Half of a head of green cab­bage, shred­ded (this goes quickly in a food proces­sor)
2 small ser­rano chiles, finely diced (use less if you pre­fer less heat; for even less heat, seed the chiles)
2 table­spoons fresh lemon juice, or more as needed
1 tea­spoon salt
1  tea­spoon sugar
1 table­spoon canola oil
1 tea­spoon mus­tard seeds

Toss the first five ingre­di­ents together. Taste for sea­son­ing; there should be a bal­ance of sweet and sour.

Heat the oil in a small skil­let until smok­ing, then add the mus­tard seeds. Cover the pan. The seeds will start pop­ping. When they have stopped, remove from heat and pour the oil over the cab­bage mix­ture. Toss thor­oughly. The salad can be served cold or at room tem­per­a­ture, but it needs about 15 min­utes of rest time so that the fla­vors can develop.

This is great with the afore­men­tioned dal, but I’ve been lov­ing it as a side for grilled meat.

This keeps well for a few days, but will lose a bit of its orig­i­nal crunch.