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Simple Cabbage Salad (Zelka Salata)

Shared by: Vesa
Recipe origin: Macedonia


I just love this salad, it’s a Balkan classic which is super simple to make and tastes delicious. As tradition would have it, I have grown up watching my dad, dedo (grandfather) and uncle eat this salad with a shot of warm rakia (Macedonian spirit) while the women in my family prepared dinner.

According to my dedo, salad before a meal helps to build up your appetite – I think he just enjoys the uninterrupted male conversation while the women are busy in the kitchen.

For me, this salad is great on its own as a light snack/appetizer (no rakia required) or for dinner served with fresh kjofte (meatballs) or pork.




Serves 4

1/2 a white cabbage, core removed, outer leaves discarded and finely shredded
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar (or apple cider vinegar if you prefer a lighter dressing)
Sea salt to taste (freshly ground black pepper is optional)

1) Shred cabbage as thinly as possible, using a sharp knife or on a mandolin (v slicer).

2) Place all ingredients in a bowl and toss well to combine. Serve immediately or allow to rest in the fridge for a few hours before your guests arrive, toss again and check the seasoning (it may need extra salt and vinegar/oil).

11 Comments  |   Add a comment

  1. klubi

    That’s what I can do with all the cabbage that’s growing in my garden!

  2. VillageCook

    Yay, so excited to have my first comment!!!!

  3. lasko

    I had this at lunch today.. mmmm.

  4. Zore

    hhhmmm with grated green apple is nice too, and paprika sprinkled…x

  5. Mike

    Perfect with kebapi! To add a little more spice and colour, my kids love it with a teaspoon of paprika tossed through it.

  6. VillageCook

    So many variations, I love it! Thanks for commenting :)

  7. Annabel

    I just googled the cabbage salad recipe and your page came up! Making it tonight. Will let you know how i go.

  8. Ines

    On top of this salad I add a bit of fresh dill.

  9. Tod

    A local restaurant has a cabbage salad that is similar, except that they chop the cabbage into small crunchy cubes and, in addition to the oil and vinegar, add hot peppers, then sprinkle it with paprika. They call it simply “hot salad”.

  10. Andy

    Since this is a Balkan recipe, do you happen to know the recipe for the Balkan potato salad?

  11. Village Feast

    Hi Andy, thanks for your comment. I have a potato salad recipe on VillageFeast, however, I am not 100% sure if it is the Balkan potato salad recipe you are searching for, check it out http://www.villagefeast.com.au/2010/11/18/my-favourite-potato-salad/

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