Sara Jenkins is famous for making the Italian roasted pork street food known as porchetta trendy in New York. She’s also known for her way with pasta (and has a new book out with her famed food writer mom celebrating it). She’s had turns at a handful of great Italian restaurants in New York, earning them stars and accolades and has written at length for The Atlantic about Italian food. And almost all I ever want to talk about here? Her salads.
I can’t help it — they’re riveting, and while I will forever love roasted pork and pasta, in my life, nothing fills the inspiration deficit that accumulates from the daily repetition of cooking that real life requires like chefs that have a way with vegetables — ways we can take back home and eat food we’re more excited about. It began the first time we went to Porsena nearly 5 years ago, when I fell in love with a green bean salad busy with pickled onions, fried almonds, thinly sliced fennel and celery, which I’m of the opinion never gets enough praise. Crunchy and bright, I became obsessed and made it again and again at home. Last week, we were back for an early Sunday night dinner with our menagerie of mini-humans (fine, just two, but it feels like a lot!) and the giant shells with kale pesto were excellent, my son’s thousand-layer deeply broiled duck lasagna was otherworldly, my husband has nothing but good things to say about the linguine with clams, but the only thing I spent the next week babbling on about was the salad I had with dates, feta and radicchio.
I also spent the next week telling myself it was too basic, too boring to warrant mention, which is kind of a shame when these simple ingredients that I already had in the kitchen are so spectacularly good together, the perfect balancing act of sweet and salty on crunchy salad. At the restaurant, they use an heirloom radicchio with tender pink leaves that is absolutely nothing like the bitter-as-lemon-peel heads we get at the store, so I replaced it with red cabbage, which is cheap, hearty and holds up well if you’re trying to plan ahead for that big holiday this month. Everything else was guesswork: I detected a lot of olive oil, a bit of lime juice and Aleppo pepper at the restaurant, but couldn’t resist adding two more things at home, very well toasted sesame seeds and a handful of parsley to finish. You could add even more stuff, I don’t think thinly shaved red onion, a splash of pomegranate molasses or even chickpeas would be unwelcome here, but the good news is that you don’t need them to make a really gorgeous November salad that I’m angling to put on the Thanksgiving table this year, and uh, in my belly at lunchtime today.
One year ago: Pickled Cabbage Salad
Two years ago: Perfect Uncluttered Chicken Stock
Three years ago: Granola-Crusted Nuts
Four years ago: Baked Pumpkin and Sour Cream Puddings
Five years ago: Upside-Down Cranberry Cake
Six years ago: Raisin-Studded Apple Bread Pudding
Seven years ago: Cottage Cheese Pancakes, Cauliflower Salad with Green Olives and Capers and Onion Tart with Mustard and Fennel
Eight years ago: Roasted Stuffed Onions, Simplest Apple Tart and Black Bean Pumpkin Soup
Nine years ago: Indian-Spiced Vegetable Fritters, Dreamy Cream Scones and Shrimp Cocktail
And for the other side of the world:
Six Months Ago: Mushrooms and Greens with Toast
1.5 Years Ago: Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp Bars
2.5 Years Ago: Japanese Vegetable Pancakes
3.5 Years Ago: Warm, Crisp and A Little Melty Salad Croutons
4.5 Years Ago: Leek Toasts with Blue Cheese
Date, Feta and Red Cabbage Salad
If you don’t like your cabbage too crunchy, dressing it as directed and letting it rest in the salad bowl for a while before adding the other ingredients will soften and wilt it a bit.
Serves 4 to 6 as a side
1 to 1 1/4 pounds red cabbage (1 small head or half of a large one), sliced very thin
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons lime or lemon juice (I use lime)
Salt and red pepper flakes (I used the mild Aleppo variety) to taste
About 1/2 cup pitted dates, coarsely chopped or sliced
4 ounces feta, crumbled into chunks
1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 teaspoons well-toasted sesame seeds
Toss cabbage with olive oil and first tablespoons of lime juice, plus salt and pepper, coating leaves evenly. Taste and add more lime juice, salt and pepper to taste. I do this a few times, making sure I really get this base well seasoned because it will be hard to do it as well later.
Toss dressed cabbage gently with half of dates and feta. Sprinkle with remaining dates, then feta, then parsley and sesame seeds. Dig in.
Do ahead: The whole salad can sit assembled for at least an hour, if not longer in the fridge. Mine is going strong on the second day. You can also prepare the parts separately (feta, chopped dates, sliced cabbage) to assemble right before serving, if you’re planning ahead for Thanksgiving or a dinner party.
200 comments on date, feta and red cabbage salad
WHY won’t they let us have the good stuff (radicchio)?! They are such jerks! Good think I love cabbage just as much :)
Ever since you mentioned something a while back about keeping a head of cabbage in the fridge at almost all times for easy salads, my whole dinner life has changed. We never used to eat salad (blah) and now we eat it most nights — cabbage is so easy! This one looks like a great addition to the rotation, despite my partner’s professed distaste for feta. He’ll live :)
Like Maro, I’m married to a feta hater, but I say that just leaves more for me to eat. I’ve gotta add this to my salad rotation!
Wonder if it would be good with a mild goat cheese?
In fact, I often make it without feta (do like it, just don‘t have it at all times) and it still works/tastes wonderful!
Oh yum! And I have all these ingredients… I know what I’ll be making for lunch today :)
I don’t think this is boring at all! It sounds awesome with the feta and the dates in there. So delicious!
OMG just clicked on the photo of Anna; sometimes she looks just like your husband but here she is a mini-Deb! So freakin’ cute!
I have a girls’ ‘weekend in Breckenridge coming up and need to bring a salad – this is perfect!
I know this will be our new favorite salad. I love crunchy salads with Feta cheese. I can’t wait to serve this to my family!!!!
This looks delicious!
What can you sub for dates
Try golden raisins, dried cherries or cranberries, or even dried apricots.
I subbed roasted butternut squash which was great. You could add a squeeze of honey to mimic the date’s sweetness (I didn’t). Love this salad!
It looks so incredibly delicious. It´s always a challenge making a non boring salad, ans you definitely did it! Great idea using the dates!!
Easy peasy but looks and sounds super delicious! I’m def. making this recipe!
This looks fantastic. I’m obsessed with shredded cabbage.
To the feta-averse: Queso fresco is a great alternative. It’s salty and crumbly, but milder than feta. It is without that..I don’t know, brininess? almost sourness? of feta.
What about a cheese friendly to pregnant women? Any ideas? :)
I love the use of dates here. Chewy and sweet, they tend to balance the acid of the dressing. I always have raisins on hand and use those more often.
I go on cabbage cooking benders and when I have it, always add some to our salads. There is still that little nagging message (by the health authorities of yore) in the back of my head that lettuce is meh but cruciferous vegetables will redeem then. It may be true and probably was a produce marketing ploy at one time, but it makes me feel better when I add it. …plus, it really does add that crunch I like.
….and where is that pecan pie? You promised!
It takes such skill to make a truly incredible salad that it’s worth mooning over them. This salad looks incredible- I love the idea of combining dates, feta, and Aleppo with red cabbage.
That is the cutest baby picture! What a little dolly! You are so right that a great salad is hard to forget. Our favorite restaurant sold and the new owners have ruined the simple apple salad with raisins and some brown sugary dressing that I can’t figure out. Breaks my heart.
That looks wonderful! Just the right thing to eat in the evening!
I love how you stretch me and take me out of my food comfort zone. I have never eaten a date before and have never had feta cheese. I am so sheltered! But need to be more adventurous for fear I am missing out!
Hi Deb! I’m an avid SmittenKitchen reader, but I’m also on the publicity team for Sara & Nancy’s cookbook (The Four Seasons of Pasta) and it’s so nice to hear you say such lovely things about them and their food. Aren’t they amazing? So great to see worlds collide and to have one of my favorite blogs and one of my favorite publicity projects from this year come together in one post!
(you will) get-in-my-belly, date, feta, and red cabbage salad (today).
So glad I read this! I almost skipped this post because I’m not a big fan of cabbage salads, but radicchio is my favorite leaf vegetable. You might find some sweet varieties at a farmer’s market. My farmer friend gave me a taste of a varietal she was trialing called “sweet loaf.” It was incredible. It was so sweet I was happy to eat the entire giant leaf without any dressing.
I’m really glad you decided to post this recipe with red cabbage! As much as I love radicchio, I’m so excited to find another fun thing to do with the red cabbages I can’t seem to stop myself from buying. I will definitely be trying it with chickpeas. Great idea!
Looks fantastic! My mind went straight to toasted or candied walnuts, too.
You can also add walnuts there, and prunes instead of dates.
My grandma used to make the red cabbage salad with tons of minсed garlic and a bit of mayo. Delish.
I looove salads like this that surprise me by combining simple ingredients in ways I wouldn’t have thought of. Totally agree that chefs who have a way with vegetables are the best.
Sounds good – I think I might try that with mint, instead of parsley. Feels like it would fit.
This was great inspiration for tonight’s dinner! I made some swaps based on what I had on hand and it turned out delicious: sesame seeds–> toasted pecans, dates–> craisins. If only I had some pork on hand to go with it…
This recipe looks so delicious, I love your idea!
This sounds (and looks) gorgeous, tomorrow I’ll go and buy the red cabbage!
The cabbage and dates must go really well together – and I’ll have some thinly sliced onions on the side.
Thank you so much for your yummy ideas :)
and boy, that little girl looks just like you!
That beet color is gorgeous!
I don’t understand where people see pictures of your daughter? Is there a link I can’t find or don’t have? I love all else about your site, Deb.
Hi Leskap19 (# 32), the photo of baby Anna is via an embedded link in the word “mini-humans” in paragraph #2:-)
Susan — The week is still young! (I hope, agh.) Anyway, the pecan pie is awesome, we had it again last weekend. I’m going to make one more tomorrow, because I want to see if I can nix a few steps. Thursday! Thursday or bust!
Ally — Hooray, and thank you. Ordered the book today, was a little embarrassed I hadn’t known it was out yet. I MUST have this that I spied today, whatever it is.
what a thrill to see this! and then find such raves over the green bean salad. thank you and its a delight to know you come in and appreciate my restaurant so much. Please say hello next time if you come in when I am there (alas virtually never on a Sunday!)
Two kids feels like a lot??!! Oh my. I wonder what my 6 would be. Probably a menagerie.
This sounds delicious (as are Anna’s photos – the pumpkin hat! Speechless.)
I had to google “Aleppo pepper” and found an interesting (and sad) article on how the war has destroyed the production of this spice in Syria:
I love anything with dates or feta. Both is just a bonus. Thanks for another awesome dinner option that can do double duty as lunch.
Oh, how I wish I had read this before dinner last night! It would have worked great with my mish-mash Spanish omelette and baked chicken thighs… Ah well, that’s dinner sorted for tomorrow night!
This salad has me salivating. Could you cobble recipes for some of her other salads? This one is a classic.
Your mention of porchetta brought back sweet food blog memories. Our local paper’s former (and much missed) food critic had an interactive food blog. One of my favorite regulars was “Yum Porchetta,” “YumPo” for short. Are you out there, YumPo?
Oh wow this salad looks absolutely delicious and the color is just brilliant! Thanks so much for another awesome recipe. Do you have any suggestions for toppings in place of feta cheese?
The pic of your daughter is too cute; 4 months? I, being a connosieur of babies, assess her as very advanced for her age.
Haven’t you heard? Sam Sifton has banned salad from the Thanksgiving table!Might need to slip this in anyway. ha!
Wow this looks so beautiful – really delicious and perfect for this season – so thank you for the recipe!!
Any idea for a substitution if you’re allergic to dates (and figs)?
Definitely adding this to my Thanksgiving menu, which is heavy on salads (I live with Paleo Man). Never have enough ways to use winter vegetables without casseroling the life out of them. Thank you, Deb!
i’m with JMS and mimi – that photo of anna looks exactly like you! adorable as usual.
and this salad goes straight into the recipe folder. salads are probably my favorite thing about your site, especially because they are never just “lettuce with stuff.”
My late father was in the restaurant business his entire working life. He would say that you can judge a restaurant by how they prepare their vegetables—if they take care with the vegetables, you can be confident in the rest of the meal. I still find that I do that.
This salad looks amazing. I discovered that I’m allergic to dairy and miss feta and Parmesan the most. I’d still like to try it, tho.
Still scratching my head about your son’s duck lasagna. I know he’s a prodigy, but ….. I’d like that recipe, please.
Made this yesterday and served it with a nice piece of beef steak… it was wonderful! But I have to tell you, it was even tastier for today’s lunch!! :D I guess it is even better to prepare this in advance….
I make a similar salad with kale w/dates and feta – a good addition to the vinaigrette is freshly grated ginger! I will have to try with cabbage or endive now.
Hey Deb – do you think this salad gets BETTER as it sits for a while, say a day? Just thinking about Thanksgiving prep and when I should make it, like night before or day of. Thanks!
OK – good – But where the H*ll is the print button – if there is one make it more visible I am getting tired of copy & paste.
Keep up the good work.
Where do I go to locate photos of your two little darlings? Love all your recipes and postings!
Planned for friday evening with friends, thanks for the recipe, sounds exactely the type of salads I love ! (I’m also a food writer, and wrote a book about… salads ! ;-) )
MJ — Dried apricots? Definitely more tart but could be delicious.
Print — There’s a “Print” link at the bottom of each recipe, before the ad and then comments begin. A redesign is coming! All things will be easier to find than they were when this design was a really good idea in 2006.
Lindsay — Mostly, the cabbage will soften, so if you prefer a more slaw-like texture vs. wiry fresh cabbage crunch, definitely it can be made a day early. Still might be nice to sprinkle the extra stuff on top right before serving for pretties.
Duck lasagna — I will admit that this sounds very advanced — and he really isn’t with food — and that I might not have told him it was duck. (That said, he loved the peking duck we had a few months ago…) It actually tasted like it had duck sausage in it, i.e. it basically tasted like Italian-seasoned sausage. And of course, there was lots of rich bechamel and crispy pasta. There was an older kid at the next table with a pasta bambino-style (just spaghetti and marinara, off the menu) and I was afraid that if my son saw it, he’d be mad he wasn’t eating it, so I said next time we’d order that but he insists he wants the lasagna again.
Anna — I think she looks just like her dad, our friends think she looks just like baby Jacob and you guys think she looks like me and I don’t see any of it. Probably because I’m too busy eating the poor child.
Annette — How could I forget that? Devastating, although probably the least of the sad things that’s come of the civil war.
Connie — I know, it’s not even. But my god, with the stroller and diaper bag and son’s backpack and bike and helmet and then the Bjorn in case she gets fussy and needs to be heldheldheld, I feel like we need to take a covered wagon with us to get anywhere in the city. And we haven’t even added all of the winter gear yet!
Hi Deb! The salad looks gorgeous. I think you – or anyone – would enjoy The Ultimate Fall Salad from Making Thyme for Health. It’s excellent. I used store bought dressing (raspberry walnut vinaigrette), carmelized pecans, no parm… still wonderful and stayed crunchy for the next two days. http://www.makingthymeforhealth.com/2014/11/03/the-ultimate-fall-salad/
How is it you always know what I have sitting in my fridge that needs using up? Made this with the feta I had leftover from getting inspired by a Sprouted Kitchen falafel recipe earlier this week. Your passing suggestion of adding chickpeas turned into topping this with falafels – which I can highly recommend. I love being surprised by simple veggie preparations. This one definitely out performed my expectations.
This sounds good. I have a friend who ALWAYS has red cabbage on hand. And last week we just sort of threw red cabbage, really ripe tomatoes, cilantro and anice seeds. So GOOD.
Sara Jenkins, this would be a great Genius Recipe over at Food52. Definitely Genius Recipe worthy.
I ate it tonight. By ate, I mean unceremoniously shoveled it into my mouth. I was hungry. It took three minutes to make. It was ridiculously good. Bravo. Well done.
(I omitted the sesame seeds. I don’t understand sesame seeds.)
Annette: That’s a really interesting and sad article you linked to. Did you know there’s a seed vault, designed to save crops from destruction by war (and natural means as well)? It’s recently been opened for the first time as a result of the war in Syria: http://www.usnews.com/news/world/articles/2015/10/19/syrian-seeds-withdrawn-from-arctic-doomsday-vault
And here is a fascinating piece on the man who helped start the movement, a Soviet botanist who later died in a gulag while along with his colleages starved to death during the siege of Leningrad while protecting to save the seed stores: http://in.rbth.com/blogs/2014/05/12/the_men_who_starved_to_death_to_save_the_worlds_seeds_35135
Heartbreaking, fascinating, and inspiring all at once.
And on a happier note, this salad looks fantastic! I would never think of dates and cabbage together. Lately I’ve been on a huge roasted grape kick and have been putting them in everything. Amazing when roasted with ras el-hanout. If someone doesn’t like dates, roasted red or purple grapes might work here…
This sounds delicious. I love a good and different salad, too! The dates and cabbage threw me at first but after reading through your post and getting used to the two together it sounds delicious!
Um, I just had this with a poached egg for lunch. Amazing. This really belongs in the “Put an Egg on It” section.
I’m always a little confused on dates. I love the big fat Medjools but sometimes I forget to look and end up with the drier Deglet Noors, which I don’t like as well but look to be the kind you used here? I can see how maybe the drier variety might be preferred for a salad (instead of such a juicy pasty bite of date). I also just read about the special and rare Halawy date, which now I’m dying to try.
I’m so glad you shared this salad combo because although simple, I probably would have never ventured here myself. As soon as I saw it pop up on my feedly though, I knew I wanted to pin and make it soon! Cabbage and feta going on my next shopping list!
LOVED this (I know I shouted but it was that good. Thank you for the recipe
I made this last night and LOVED it! This will definitely be on repeat in my house. It’s gorgeous and it tastes good! You never steer me wrong! Thanks!
This salad was excellent. My five- and eight-year-olds even wanted to try it because they enjoy dates so much. The younger said, “Not bad — not my favorite — but not bad.”
I especially like your creative ways with vegetables. Keep them coming. :)
I saw this recipe and didn’t think much of it. Then I tried it. Now I’m addicted.
Hi Deb – when you slice the cabbage on your mandolin, are you going “pole to pole” lengthwise or are you going crosswise? I always wonder if there is a best way to do this for salads and coleslaw.
Finally made this today while my 8 year old made his own ‘salad’ beside me. I didn’t use enough cabbage, I couldn’t weigh it because my scale battery died. I did love the flavour and the colour, and my husband had 2 helpings!! A great salad after a week of too much comfort food :)
I made the salad tonight and enjoyed it very much (as I do all your recipes). Loved the crunch factor. Thanks Deb.
Absolutely delicious. A really, really, really good salad; thanks, Deb! I had my parents over for dinner and they could not stop raving. In fact, it’s going on their Christmas party menu. Thank you!
Loved it! Long live the Queen of Slaws!
Love this salad! Have tried adding some small slices granny smith apple, and another time some chopped dried apricots along with the dates. Both variations were delicious.
I made this last night with green cabbage. Delicious and sooo easy!
I made this last night as well, and I just had a huge bowl of it for lunch today. It is wonderful! I didn’t have parsley, but I did have some green onion that I tossed in instead. Another great recipe. Thank you!
This looks amazing! Seasonal and brightly colored. I’m hoping I can convince my family to eat this (and by family I mean my parents who have so kindly allowed me to live with them for the past few months in exchange for my cooking). At least I know my mom and I are huge date fans, and my dad loves red cabbage so I hope I can convince them of this one.
First time commenting but I just had to say how fantastic this recipe was! Completely unexpected combination of flavors but they worked perfectly together, especially with the toasty-ness of the sesame seeds. My golden syrup just came so I can’t wait to get started on my pecan pies too. Thank you!
Yummy! We had pomegranate on hand and threw some seeds in. It was delish, I especially loved the flavor the toasted sesame seeds added. :) Thanks!
The first sentence says to toss with first tablespoonS of lime juice. Is that supposed to be singular, or are we tasting for possible more juice?
LOVED. Made for my office Thanksgiving potluck today and it was a smashing success. (I made the dressing on the side and dressed it shortly before serving, and it turned out great!)
oh my. another addiction! just made this and it’s heavenly. crunchy, slightly sweet and salty. just perfect. I dared to make one minor alteration, though, and added a teaspoon of honey to the dressing – my significant other and I like it a bit on the sweet side.
thanks deb! I’d never have thought of tossing these things into a salad bowl together, but as your blog is my bible I just knew this recipe was gonna work :-)
A phenomenal salad. The best cabbage salad we’ve had. The sesame seeds pull it all together. This will definitely be in frequent rotation given the volume of red cabbage we get in our CSA share.
What an outstanding salad! Quick to assemble and the taste was so much more than the sum of its parts. This is now in rotation for the winter season. Thanks Deb!
Thank you, thank you, thank you. I accidentally bought too much red cabbage and was wondering what I was going to do with it…heading off to make this now.
Delicious! I didn’t have sesame seeds so toasted some sliced almonds for extra texture and they seemed to be a nice alternative. Great salad before a week of heavy eating!
So good! Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe. I made this on the weekend for some friends. Everyone loved it and wanted the recipe. Thanks again.
Yummy, and so nice to look at!
When you add the lime juice to the cabbage, the purple strands turn pink :) very pretty. I was hoping my little daughter might be tempted to try it, but no way…
I didn’t really taste the sesame seeds, so will leave them away the next time. But the dates and feta were really great.
OMG this was a huge success at my neighbors’ all vegan Thankgiving Dinner (save for the turkey and the feta cheese of course) yesterday evening. I made it after work yesterday (th lad it took only 15 minutes to prep!). I followed the directions, though I served the feta separate so the vegan attending could enjoy the salad. I used the juice if one who lime as I like tartness and used fresh ground pepper and hot pepper flakes. The heat blended nicely with the tart and the cream feta. I had never toasted sesame seeds prior to yesterday. I toasted them in a preheated Stainless steel skillet for 5 minutes, (turned the flame off after 3.5 minutes) and stirred them often and they turned a nice golden brown. They added a lovely extra layer of flavor to this dish. We had a Pakistani college student sharing our meal and she loved this salad too! In fact, it got voted the best dish of the meal save for the delicious roasted turkey. I also had an incredible corn bread at the meal (no eggs or butter) made with pumpkin and applesauce. I have been asked for this recipe by many people! I had the remaining portion for lunch today and the flavor was even better today though, of course, the cabbage was less crispy. Excellent first and second day. My Borzoi (sighthound) enjoyed the small portion I gave him today too! This salad is now at the top of my go to salad recipe list. I am thankful I found you blog a handful of years ago. I have made MANY of your recipes over the years. Keep them coming!
I am a huge fan of date in salads since eating Ottolenghi’s addictive baby spinach salad with dates (https://thejameskitchen.wordpress.com/2014/05/21/ottolenghis-spinach-salad/)! Love the red cabbage, dates & feta combination and definitely will add a spritz of pomegranate molasses – gosh, I feel so lucky, I’ve got all at home and do not have to wait one day longer.
Kimberly — Sorry for the slow response but I go in either direction, although I usually begin with the cut side facing the blade. My slicer is fairly narrow so I just use whatever fits best, mostly.
We made this for dinner the other night (three heads of purple cabbage in the fridge made it a no brainer) and subbed mint for the parsley – trying to eat an entire pot before it freezes on the patio and it was delicious! I think cilantro would also work well. We had a great goat milk feta that lent a nice flavor and served it with braised Moroccan spiced lamb shanks. I ate the rest for lunch today and decided I will be adding this salad to my regular rotation – I feel like it is forgiving and can be easily modified based on the dried sweet fruit, herb and hard salty cheese you happen to have in the house.
Sounds delish! I am considering making this for Christmas, but we have some people who tend away from red cabbage. I’m considering doubling the recipe and using one small head of red cabbage and one small head of napa cabbage. Do you think the mix would work? Or am I missing something?
Erin — You can use any combination of cabbages. I made this red because that’s what I had at the restaurant.
OMGosh I just made this its so yummy…..I did switch the feta for goats cheese crumbles …..just because it was there next to the feta when I was purchasing ingredients and it sounded so good. Thanks so much for this recipe….I arrived here because some where email or maybe it was IG feed I saw this recipe and loved it!
Thank you for your incredible blog! The photography is amazing, and the recipes and stories are even more so.
This salad was sooooo yummy! How can just a few ingredients be so delicious and so interesting?! Thanks again.
I’ve made this twice already, and can’t get enough of it. I love it as is. I love it with parsley (however sad and wilted it may be) or without. I found that I prefer Medjool dates over Deglet dates – the latter were smaller and didn’t have as much flavor. (But my Deglet dates, much like my parsley, were probably a bit long in the tooth.)
Adding a handful of toasted pistachios is also gorgeous and tasty. You should totally go there, I say. :)
I live in New Caledonia and ingredients are hard to come buy – unfortunately I can’t get my hands on flat leaf parsley. What would be the second best choice? Thanks! Cant wait to try this salad.
I finally got around to making this salad in mid-December and we’ve had it at least once a week since then. It’s delicious. This is easily one of our favorite salads. My husband and I can eat bowls of this….so I usually use at least 2 lbs of cabbage for the three of us (me, husband, and 2 year old). I forget to add the parsley half the time and don’t miss it. I also use less feta and a mixture of dates and raisins or dried currents. Thanks for sharing, Deb!
Very late to the game– but I’m curious what type of feta you used?
This salad is a perfect side dish but a larger portion works for lunch too. I’ve made it three times — twice with lime and once with lemon. Lime is much better. I use 5-oz of feta (half of the 10-oz package) and probably double the sesame seeds which, when toasted, add so much flavor. I like them just shy of dark and toss them from the hot pan to the salad where they sizzle audibly. That would be fun to do for company. Next time a tiny splash of sesame oil may find its way into the salad. Thanks for all of your fab recipes. More than a few are in regular rotation here.
sfbeee — Our favorite is Bulgarian feta.
So, I’ve made this salad (at least) once a week for the last 8 weeks. It’s a problem, but what a glorious, satisfying problem.
I don’t know if I’ve said this already, but this salad is the solution to all things. I will serve this to people I love for decades to come.. thanks for the recipe!
Made this with dried figs on hand instead of dates, which I was sadly lacking. Miraculously had everything else on hand; used a mix of lime and lemon juices. LOVED it. I always need something else to do with a 1/2 head of red cabbage and this fit the bill. Already looking forward to it again.
I’ve been looking at this beautiful recipe forever, and staring at the head of red cabbage that’s been looking at me. I finally made it to go with turkey bubble-and-squeak from the freezer, together with a green lambs lettuce salad. I used whatever I had (e.g., shavings of old Stilton from Christmas instead of feta). It was so fantastic that I just ate the whole bowl of it before anything else. This is going to be one of MY staples. Thank you so much Deb. I have your book, but I always just look on the website. What a star you are.
This so tasty! I made it during a girls’ weekend in Palm Springs and it was a poolside hit. I also added chickpeas, crushed sesame sticks, and chopped boiled egg. Delicious!
Deb, I found this recipe while searching your site for a good way to use up some leftover red cabbage. It is seriously MAGIC and I don’t think leftover cabbage will be an issue anymore…thanks for this gem of a recipe!
This was one of those times where I wondered why I had waited so long to try the recipe… It was so good! You really know your way around salads, Deb. Keep them coming :)
And my daughter and I have just made it again, following your recipe exactly. There is something so perfect about this salad. Yes, a gem of a recipe. I have it under my belt now and will make it again and again. Thank you so much, Deb.
I made a version of this once before and it didn’t live up to my expectations. Admittedly we have a little bit of a problem following recipes in our house, seeing them more as inspiration to tinker. The last time I had only a green cabbage, and no sesame seeds, and I think for all of the ingredients I just eyeballed the amounts. This time I tried (truly I did) to follow it exactly. In the end I didn’t have enough dates and so added some dried apricots (and then at the end, a few extra! They work pretty well). Also I forgot to get parsley but I will probably get some tomorrow for the leftovers. Anyway it is excellent and I will surely make again. Glad I circled back around to figure out what I was missing.
I made this the other night and it was good.. Had a little left over so I chopped it a little smaller and tossed it with some farro. Gives a nice kick to the Farro and so pretty!
Ann the RVer here (again-now from Chattanooga) – Made this tonight without the dates (not a big fan of them). Delicious!! My husband just loved it! Thanks again for all your hard work.
Sadly, this was not a hit in our house! The flavors just didn’t seem to go together.
Have had this twice last week and twice this week for lunch.
So easy to make and so tasty! Saved and on rotation. THANKS!
I have made this salad so many times and love it… Weird question, though: do you wash your cabbage? I always do, but I’m wondering if it’s necessary because cabbage is so compact; there’s never any dirt. I was just curious what you do.
I came back to this tonight, totally depleted from my day. I thought, how I can I go to the grocery store and get some nutrition in a bowl in five minutes. Voila. And the crunchy cabbage with lime and red pepper perked me right up.
I’m just dropping by to say I have made this salad now more times than I can remember, and each time is a pleasure to make, a pleasure to serve, and definitely a pleasure to eat! I’ve often done slightly different variations; today I added baby spinach and subbed slivered almonds for the sesame. Every time it’s a big hit. Thanks so much :-)
I just made this and it is outstanding!! Thank you so much!
Very nice and interesting combination of flavours, and looks great too! Loved the date with the feta. I did swap the sesame for toasted almonds since I’m not a sesame fan, worked out great.
This is amaze-balls and I left out the pepper and sesame seeds. I made it 3 weeks in a row and burnt out on it. I need to put it back in rotation.
My picky tween daughter declared this delicious. Thank you!!!
Great timing for a new recipe; potluck at work this week. I did use lime juice but also added honey to give a sweet/sour balance. Many compliments on presentation and taste. It’s another SK keeper : )
I made this yesterday for a potluck. After I grabbed my (empty) bowl to leave for the eve, a woman followed me out – she said it was the *best* thing on the (abundant) table; what is in that? It’s so easy, I could remember the recipe for her to write down. Flattered! Glad there is still half a head of cabbage left, so I can make it again for us to enjoy!
Another winner! We loved this and I’m going to make it again tonight.
You had me at dates. Sooooo easy and delicious. I didn’t change a thing.
I made this for family christmas lunch and then again for a vegetarian brunch at my yoga studio- both times it was wonderful. I used lemon juice not lime and played with the ratios a bit as I tripled it (or something silly) for the yoga brunch. Definitely a great salad to know about! Thanks.
I’ve made this twice now and really enjoy it. I have made it both with radicchio and with red cabbage. It’s a great balance of crunchy and chewy.
Thanks for sharing.
This is the best salad I’ve ever made, and one of the best I can remember ever having. I first made it for Thanksgiving and it was a huge hit (which is saying a lot — who ever notices a salad amongst Thanksgiving abundance?) and was particularly outstanding mixed with sausage stuffing. I’ve made it a few times since, and this past week decided to make a big batch and experiment with a few different proteins to transform it into a full lunch salad. My third attempt was a stroke of genius and I had to share — I topped with chopped and lightly pan-seared Spanish chorizo and it was mind-blowing. The smokey, spicy flavor mixed perfectly with all the rest in here, and after sharing it with a few people in my office everyone’s been clamoring for the recipe. I highly recommend trying this twist on it!
I’ve made this about five times now, and I’m making it again tonight. You can totally make this 1-2 days ahead of time. It keeps really well, and it just keeps getting tastier and tastier.
Red cabbage has never tasted so good!! Such a great blend of flavors and texture. Left out the feta and didn’t feel like anything was lacking.
I have some red cabbage in the fridge that i need to finish and everything esle for this salad except the dates. I do have dried apricots. It’s not as sweet and as soft as dates but do you think i could use that instead?
This reminds me of the radicchio salad at Mediterranean Exploration Co in Portland, OR, which has dried sour cherries, and a yogurt dressing. It is amazing and I order it every single time I go to any restaurant owned by this group. I’ve tried several times at home to recreate it and have yet to be fully successful so I’m excited to try this! Thanks :)
This salad is brilliant and I’m not 100% sure why. I have cooked for a living for many years so I use recipes for inspiration and not instruction. I decided to follow this one to the letter and the results were outstanding. Thank you.
Ummm… dates & dried figs… interchangeable? Never quite sure-help!
Easy — and delicious! I’m not a ‘foodie’ (I often say I only have a kitchen because it came with the house) and I live alone (if you don’t count the Guard Cat), so I like to find new ways to prepare favourite foods that are quick and easy and can, in large part be done ahead of time. This salad will be wonderfully portable to (as a lunch for the days I work). Thank you!
Deb, I got 3 heads of cabbage (2 purple) from our CSA this week, and thought what can I make other than Cole slaw?!?!?!? Thank goodness I found this recipe already saved on Pinterest. I had all the ingredients on hand, and sat down with my three year old to eat this for lunch. Well guess what? I don’t know who loved it more. The combination of ingredients goes so well together, and I’m thrilled my 3 year old couldn’t get enough. I’m going to make it again with the remaining head of purple cabbage and throw in some chickpeas for our lunch tomorrow. Thank you!
I LOVE this recipe. So easy. So tasty. I added some fresh mint to my salad and it really sings. A+ work week lunch!
Thank you for your suggestion to replace parsley with mint. I just made this with mint and lemon juice and, indeed, it is wonderful! Also, I replaced toasted pistachios for the sesame seeds. Perfection! Thanks, Deb!
This was absolutely fabulous and the toasted sesame seeds complete the flavors so wonderfully. I made it for a holiday party and it was a hit with everyone who tried it. It’s also just beautiful and presents so prettily. This has become my go-to dish for pot-lucks and is my favorite recipe find.
Absolutely delicious! A very simple and deceptive salad. I didn’t have all the ingredients, so substituted with whatever I had. Added a tiny bit of dijon mustard and a few drops of sesame oil to the dressing, replaced feta with goat’s cheese and used pepitas instead of sesame seeds. Still maintained the essence of the salad and have marked it in my favourites to make sure I don’t forget where I got the recipe from.
You are doing great work. I love reading your blogs and articles, I am a die-hard follower of your work. Thanks for giving so much knowledge to the readers through your inspiring words.
I just had this for dinner. I added sunflower seeds and hemp seeds for a bit more protein. The sunflower seeds with the dates were great!
It was a chilly evening here in New Hampshire, so I changed this up a bit. Specifically, I cooked the red cabbage with some tofu, hot sesame oil and a hit of soy sauce. then I let it cool slightly and added the other ingredients. It was delicious.
Delicious! Lime juice is good. Served w Pierre Franey Indonesian Chicken and polenta. This will be added to Thanksgiving dinner menu!! I’m hoping to find a sub for feta as we will have a vegan guest.
I was a bit sceptical given that I don’t really like dates, but this was really delicious! Held up well the second day but I found it needed another splash of lime as the dates had broken down making it a bit too sweet. Made as described.
Will be trying this recipe this week. Thank you!
It is absurd how good this is. Doubters became true believers after one bite. Toasted sesame seeds were crucial…almost skipped them and so glad that I didn’t. I cannot wait to make this again!
A deliciously simple salad I plan to make often! Next time, I will substitute almonds or walnuts for the sesame seeds. Thanks, Deb, for another winner recipe!!!
Love this salad! Adding carrots gave it more color and taste.
This is utterly delicious and nutritious and wonderful in winter when produce is not at its best. We eat it regularly. I don’t use the sesame seeds.
Someone inevitably oohs and aaahs and asks for the recipe whenever I make this. Thanks! (Haven’t done the sesame seeds, though)
This looks fabulous. A friend just sent me this link on Lauren Ko, a home baker in Seattle. Thought you might like to see, if you have not already.
This reminds me of the radicchio salad at Mediterranean Explorarion Co in Portland OR. It has a yogurt dressing and sour cherries, and is insanely delicious. Thanks for this!
This is such a magical combination of flavors–the lemony cabbage, the sweetness of the dates, the saltiness of the feta. Deb, you’ve done it again! I added some chickpeas but otherwise made this exactly as written and it was amazing.
This salad is delicious! The dates and feta are an amazing combination, and the perfect balance of salty/sweet plus the acid from the lime. Thank you!
Any thoughts on a good substitute for toasted sesame seeds? We’re out of them. Slivered almonds? Chia seeds? Something else?
I toast slightly versed almonds for this and it is great.
Thanks auto correct. Slivered almonds!
Made this!! It is absolutely DELIGHTFUL when you sub out the olive oil for sesame
WOW! Making this again FOR SURE. Modifications: didn’t have dates, so mixed oil + lime juice + salt + red pepper flakes + a bit of sugar for sweetness, for part 1 of the recipe. Didn’t measure anything specifically, just eyeballed it. Also added ~2 c cooked, *cooled*, quinoa (cooked in water w/ a pinch of salt), in order to make it the starch and the vegetable of our meal tonight. Served it with something strikingly similar to SK Tequila Lime Chicken. Already can’t wait to have the leftovers for lunch tomorrow. (P.S. I do not love cabbage, my husband really does not love cabbage. We both LOVED this, and I think we’d love it without the quinoa, too.)
Tasty and simple–we ate HUGE amounts of this and I have now made it twice more! I did add some pom molasses as you suggested–nice deep fruit flavor, just a dollop after seasoning before the add-ins. I also increased the sesame for more crunch. This would be great with cilantro also.
This is an absolute staple for us, especially in winter when a bag of pre-shredded red cabbage from the grocery store is such a bright spot in our sad produce drawer. But I made it tonight just because I craved it! I always sub pepitas for the sesame seeds, and great feta makes a big difference, I found tonight.
Made it with a lot of lemon juice. A person who doesn’t like cabbage said it was very good. Will make it again
This looks so good! What type of feta do you recommend? Bulgarian, French, Greek? Soft or on the harder end?
You can use any you like, but I usually buy bulgarian.
Such a great salad! I didn’t want to stop eating it. I used toasted pepitas instead of sesame seeds because I had them on hand, and those were a good substitute.
The only thing I changed in the recipe was to use more sesame seeds and I’m glad I did. I really liked it, although I did not like it the next day. It lost some of the crunch and the brightness from the lime. Just sort of meh on the 2nd day. Next time I would probably lose the feta, although I love feta I really don’t think it adds much to the total taste. I might also increase the dates a little.
This salad hit all the right flavor notes, and was delightfully beautiful for Thanksgiving today! The lime was perfect. Thank you Deb, we hope your meal was just as wonderful today.
Thanks for this recipe! Have just made it for lunch (with twice as many sesame seeds & young goat’s cheese instead of feta) It was delicious. Have had to stop myself eating the lot. Roll on lunchtime tomorrow when I can have some more!
This was delicious…a perfect balance between salty and sweet. My husband, who is not a huge fan of cabbage salads, loved it too. Thank you!!!
Fresh, crunchy and fabulous is all I can say!
This is a perfect meal to make with random ingredients already in my house. When I acquired 2 large purple cabbages a little over a week ago, they were just unwanted items from by co-worker’s CSA. But now they’re the fresh vegetable in my house and this was the most promising recipe I found online. It did not disappoint.
I’m not a fan of super crunchy cabbage, so I first massaged it with the lemon juice until water came out, then seasoned with 2 tb olive oil and 1 tsp each salt, pepper, and Korean red chili powder (gochujaru). I didn’t have dates or feta, so I used chopped prunes and cream cheese instead – delicious!! Sounds strange but this might be the first time I’ve realized what a difference good olive oil can make in a salad ;-) Thanks for sharing!
This salad is delicious! I’m dairy free so I use Violife vegan feta and it works great. Thanks for the wonderful recipe, it is one of my favorites :)
This salad became a staple in my kitchen, it’s
even better the next day
My goodness this was so good! Received the worlds largest red cabbage in my CSA box and googled to figure out what to do with it. Thankfully had feta and a big box of medjool dates in the fridge already! Used toasted pepitas and scallions (had no sesame or parsley) and it’s delicious! I’m thinking of adding chickpeas or tofu to make it a veg main. Thank you!!!
Re ‘The whole salad can sit assembled for at least an hour, if not longer in the fridge.’ – I found it improved after a day in the fridge, and would have likely lasted longer had I been able to resist finishing the whole thing on the second day. I didn’t have sesame seeds so used toasted pine nuts (2 + tablespoons) instead, which were delicious. Thanks!
I know it wouldn’t be as pretty, but I have a green cabbage that needs eating and wondered if that would work or if the flavor would be out of balance? Thanks!
It will work here, for sure.
Yum! This is delicious and a family pleaser! This will now be the first thing I make whenever I get a red cabbage in my veg box!
I just made this red cabbage salad and it’s fantastic. Served some to my husband, who said it was perfect after so much heavy Christmas food. The keys for me here are thinly-slicing the cabbage using a mandolin, and the lime juice. I am a huge fan of lime, so I added the zest of the lime, too. Crispy cabbage, chewy dates, and creamy feta, all swathed in lime dressing: this salad is a remedy for the winter blues.
Made this for lunch. Very quick and delicious. I used both almonds and sesame seeds for extra crunch.
Super delicious. I just need to chop up the cabbage more finely. Added oranges as well. And Spring onions.
My son made this for me tonight for Mother’s Day. Was perfect. He introduced mevto this site many years ago. Thank you Debbie.
This is sooooo good! We had some leftover red cabbage that was bound to rot in the crisper drawer and I’m so happy I came across this recipe instead. I didn’t even have sesame seeds which probably would have taken it to the next level, but even without them this is incredibly delicious and you just want to keep eating it. I mixed the cabbage, dressing and dates in a big bowl that’s sitting in the fridge, and topping with feta when I make a bowl. The cabbage was still crunchy on day two!
I made this last night with the following substitutions and it was amazing! Subbed cilantro for parsley, Point Reyes blue cheese for feta (not too much) and toasted almonds for the sesame seeds. I didn’t have feta and my husband loves blue cheese so went for it, cutting it in the smallest of crumbles. It played so well with the cabbage crunch, nuttiness and sweetness of the dates. Obsessed with this recipe!
We just tried this salad last night. It is delicious!