Cabbage is known for swimming in mayo as a sad side dish or for giving off a certain off-putting smell when cooked. But I want you to put those recipes aside and try cabbage fresh, crispy, and lightly dressed, just as it should be.
I'm a cabbage lover, but honestly, every time I pick one up it seems to sit for a couple days until my mind decides exactly how to prepare it. More often than not, I thinly shred it for tacos and whatnot, but this time around I wanted to prepare a whole meal around the pretty purple veggie.
I found inspiration from the cookbook Chez Panisse Vegetables by Alice Waters. Everything she does is fresh and simply prepared, which is exactly what I was looking to create.
Adding black beans to the zesty lime and cabbage combo and prepping corn bread croutons make this meal completely satisfying and a real hit with a crowd. The salad has all the flavors of my favorite salsa recipe but swaps in cabbage for the tomatoes—great for those of you who can't handle vegetables in the nightshade family.
You can use purple or green cabbage, or maybe even go a little wild and do both! If you'd prefer to not make the croutons, wrap it all up in a tortilla or simply eat it as is.
Cabbage and Black Bean Salad with Corn Bread Croutons
for the croutons
2 cups 1-inch cubed corn bread from your favorite corn bread recipe
about 2 tablespoons olive oil
Preheat the oven to 375˚F. Using your favorite corn bread recipe already cooked (works well with day old corn bread too), cube into 1-inch pieces. Place the cubes onto a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, and toss to coat. At this point you can also season with salt and pepper if you like, too. Spread them out evenly in the pan and bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until lightly browned, flipping the pieces halfway through cooking time.
for the salad
1 small head purple cabbage, finely sliced
6 green onions, finely sliced
1/4 white onion, finely diced
2 jalapeños, seeded and finely sliced
2 cups cooked black beans (or one 14-ounce can, rinsed and drained)
juice of one lime
1 tsp lime zest
3 to 4 tsp white wine vinegar
1/3 cup olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
Place the cabbage, green onion, white onion, jalapeño, and black beans into a large bowl.
In a small jar or bowl combine the lime juice, lime zest, vinegar, olive oil. Shake well and pour over the cabbage mixture. Toss to coat everything well and season with salt and pepper. Top each serving with the corn bread croutons.
Salad is best when served the same day, but will last covered, in the fridge for an extra day or two.
Jacquelyn Scoggin became a vegetarian at age 16 and has since been in the kitchen whipping up meals for her family and friends. She writes and photographs her love for vegetarian food on her blog, So Good & Tasty. In 2009, she and her husband started Slide Sideways, a graphic design and handmade business. They maintain their love for the environment by using organic fabric, recycled paper, and environmentally friendly cleaning products.