Simple Cabbage Salad

Several years ago I went to a rock climbing potluck with a friend of mine. I do not remember what I brought, but another dish completely captivated my attention.

I looked at the colorful vegetable mixture and scooped up some to put alongside my barbecue. I took a bite of the salad and felt my insides shout, “YUM!” The crunch from the cabbage followed by the taste of grapefruit and jalapeño just delighted my palate. 

I had three helpings when a young woman in our group approached with a smile. I remember her asking me if I liked the dish and I laughed, letting her know it was my third plate. She laughed with me and said she put it together based on a similar dish she had at a potluck. I continued to scoop fork fulls of the cabbage as I pondered the ingredients.

I asked if she minded if I “stole the recipe.” She laughed and said it wasn’t hers, she just put it together based on someone else’s dish. When I went home I wrote down what I remembered and went shopping the next day.

What I call “Simple Cabbage Salad” contained only a few ingredients that played very well together. From what I remember that day, cabbage, carrots red onion, jalapeño, grapefruit and pumpkin seeds made up the dish. 


I carefully chopped the cabbage, shredded the carrots, diced the red onion and minced the jalapeño. I cut the grapefruit in half, then squeezed out the juice, allowing pulp to fall into the salad. I stirred them together, sprinkled a little sea salt over and stirred a bit more. I let it sit in the refrigerator for an hour, then took it out to eat with lunch. It was fantastic!

I eventually added cilantro to the mix. That enhanced the salad even more.

This simple cabbage salad takes very little time and makes an excellent companion to other foods. I make the salad often and eat it individually or often as a side dish. I also switch up the ingredients. This last time I made it without carrots, but then a couple days later shredded one and mixed it in with the remaining salad. 

There is one important lesson I learned early on. When I make and store the cabbage salad, I leave off one ingredient. I wait until I serve the dish to add the pumpkin seeds. They stay more fresh and keep their crunch that way. 

Simple cabbage salad is just that, very simple. It’s truly a versatile dish that tastes delicious on it’s own, or with other foods. What I appreciate is that this particular cabbage salad stores very well. When I make it for myself, it offers me several days of lunch and dinner companion.

If you try it, I pray you enjoy!

Simple Cabbage Salad


1 Green Cabbage

1-2 Carrots

½ Red Onion

1 Jalapeño

1-2 Grapefruits


Sea Salt

Pumpkin seeds


Chop the green cabbage into small, bite sized pieces and place it into a large bowl. Shred the carrots and place them into the bowl with the cabbage. Mince the red onion and jalapeño, then add that to the other vegetables. Cut the grapefruit in half or quarters, whichever is easier for you. Squeeze all the juice out over the cabbage mixture. Chop the cilantro, how much depends on what level of flavor you like. I typically use a handful. Add in the cilantro to the rest of the vegetables and carefully mix from the bottom up. This will ensure all the ingredients mix well together. 

Cover the bowl, or put the cabbage salad into a container with a secure top and store in the refrigerator until about an hour before you serve. If the bowl has a secure lid, I would take it out and shake up and down to evenly distribute the grapefruit juice. Let the cabbage salad sit room temperature and add the pumpkin seeds just before you serve. 




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