Pickled Cabbage Salad

by Anne Bennett on April 20, 2017


A typical lunch for me is often half of a tuna sandwich. Healthy but not exactly exciting. No crunch and not much tanginess, causing me to crave something…chip-like.

Enter this salad from my favorite food blogger, Deb Perelman of Smitten Kitchen. Deb lives in New York City, food mecca to the Americas. Years ago she fell hard for the “Health Salad” at specialty food store Zabars and decided to recreate it at home. Deb calls her version: pickled cabbage salad.

It’s crunchy. It’s slightly sweet and it’s definitely tangy.  The only real change Deb made from Zabar’s salad is that she adds celery seed, which, now that I’ve made it, is subtle but essential. This is why Deb is one of the most famous bloggers in the stratosphere–she can take an already famous and popular recipe and make it better. The devil is in the details.

Enjoy this delightful salad with the aforementioned tame tuna or as a side for chicken, another protein that sorely needs accessorizing. It’s fat-free and low in WW Points. It keeps in the fridge for up to a week (but it won’t last that long), it’s just what you need to add some tangy crunch to your healthy meals.


1  1/2 cups white vinegar
1 1/2 cups water
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. celery seed
1 Tbsp. kosher salt


1 small head green cabbage (2 lbs.)
1 red bell pepper
1 carrot
1 kirby cucumber (small pickling variety) or English “seedless” cucumber (doesn’t need peeling)

Mix brine ingredients in a medium bowl and set aside. In the time it takes to prepare the vegetables, the sugar and salt will have dissolved.

Prepare vegetables: trim and core cabbage and slice thinly with a knife or a food processor slicing blade (which is what I did). You can also buy shredded cabbage in a bag. Place shredded cabbage in a large bowl. Core, seed and thinly slice red bell pepper; peel and thinly slice or julienne carrot; halve lengthwise and thinly slice cucumber. Add vegetables to bowl with cabbage.

Whisk the brine a few times to make sure sugar and salt have dissolved, taste and adjust salt and pour over vegetables. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour or up to a week. The salad will become more pickled as it sits. Eat it with everything.

Makes 10 cups
WW SmartPoints per cup: 2

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Jody Gittleman April 21, 2017 at 7:19 pm

I’ve made a similar brine and used it to marinate just cucumbers or Kirby cucumbers, sliced thinly, then put those cucumbers on my sandwich instead of lettuce. I like the idea of the extra colors and ingredients in the salad, and look forward to trying it with the celery seed.

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