Purple Cabbage and Parm Salad

By: Hannah Lee Leidy
Purple cabbage with parmesan recipe from That Sounds So Good

Ever been on a tight budget but want a filling meal? James Beard award-winning cookbook author and recipe developer Carla Lalli Music lived on this purple cabbage and parm salad when in her 20s and on a very tight budget (New York rent gobbled up most of her take-home pay). It’s insanely simple—essentially a cabbage slaw with Parmigiano and a Dijon dressing—but it never let her down. It’s filling, healthy, and affordable, with lots of great textures, and super easy ingredients to get at the store. Because it’s so crunchy, it takes a while to eat, which, at the time, was a way to trick herself into thinking she had more to eat than she did. Make yourself a huge bowl after getting home from work, sit in front of the TV, and chomp the night away.

Reprinted from That Sounds So Good by Carla Lalli Music. Copyright © 2021 by Carla Lalli Music. Photographs copyright © 2021 by Andrea Gentl and Martin Hyers. Published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Random House, a division of Penguin Random House LLC.


Serves 4

  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 garlic clove
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 medium purple (red) cabbage
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 ounces Parmigiano cheese
  1. In a small bowl, combine the vinegar and mustard; finely grate garlic into the bowl. Season with salt and pepper and whisk to combine. Let mixture sit while you prep cabbage.
  2. Remove the outermost leaves (anything tough, wilted, or scraggly) from cabbage, then quarter it through the root. Cut quarters crosswise into 1⁄8-to ¼-inch-thick slices. Transfer to a salad bowl and season with a 4-finger pinch of salt; toss to disperse seasoning.
  3. Whisk oil into vinegar mixture, then drizzle dressing over the cabbage and toss very well with your hands to coat thoroughly. Use a vegetable peeler or the wide blade on a box grater to shave Parmigiano over salad (about ½ cup). Toss again to combine; the cheese will break into smaller pieces, which is fine. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper, if needed.


  • Recipe By
    Carla Lalli Music, author of That Sounds So Good
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