ON REPEAT SALADS: Lettuce Salad with Yoghurt Dressing + Cabbage, Cucumber & Mint Slaw

February 27th, 2023

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Sometimes we can fall into a cycle of preparing the same recipes on repeat. This could be due to a lack of inspiration or time, while other times simply because the dishes are enjoyed so much it makes sense to prepare them regularly. Salads often fall into these ‘on repeat’ recipes for me. When I get onto a good one that the whole family enjoys I tend to make it again and again. This will be dictated to some degree by the seasons, what I am harvesting from the garden, and what produce is reasonably priced at the markets.

Here are two salad recipes I have been enjoying making this summer. The lettuce salad idea comes from my Mum, with the dressing being tweaked with a little extra of this and that to perfection. It has simply become known in our household as ‘Wela Salad’ – Wela being the name my kids call my Mum (which is actually short for Abuela, but that is a story for another day). I would go so far as to say that it was the ‘salad of summer’ around here, and one we will continue to make throughout the year.

The second recipe, Cabbage, Cucumber & Mint Slaw is another salad I make often. It is vibrant and fresh, using a light vinegar dressing, and full of flavour and texture. I know cabbage can be expensive at the moment but when I see a decent priced one I always grab it. I find it keeps well for many weeks in the fridge simply cutting off what I need for a salad or other cooking as I go.

Browse the Homegrown Kitchen archives for more salad recipes HERE. Some favourites include:

Lettuce Salad with Yoghurt Dressing

The addition of a small amount of garlic in the dressing is key. It doesn’t need much and the cooling yoghurt mellows the pungency. This salad is best served chilled for optimal crunch from the lettuce and cucumber. Cubes of avocado would also make a great addition. The dressing can be prepared ahead of time, with the vegetables ready in a covered bowl and feta chopped, then fold everything together just before serving. This dressing is also wonderful with roasted or grilled vegetables, or even folded through boiled potatoes with capers and gherkins.
Servings 4
Prep Time 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • about ½ iceberg lettuce
  • 1 lebanese cucumber or half a telegraph cucumber
  • handful fresh basil leaves
  • 100 g feta, cut into 1cm cubes

Dressing:

  • ½ cup (125ml) natural unsweetened yoghurt
  • 1 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1 clove garlic, finely grated or chopped
  • salt to taste

Instructions

  • First, prepare the dressing. In a bowl combine the ingredients and mix well. Check the seasoning and adjust as needed with extra lemon juice and salt. Place in the fridge while preparing the produce.
  • Compost any larger outer leaves from the lettuce. Tear off the leaves in large chunks and place them into a large salad bowl. Slice the cucumber and add to the bowl along with the basil leaves. If preparing ahead of time, cover and place into the fridge.
  • When ready to serve. Add the feta to the salad bowl and pour over the dressing. Use salad servers to toss to combine, evenly coating the lettuce with the dressing. Serve immediately.

Notes

*Recipe first published 4th February 2023 on Stuff.co.nz.

Cabbage, Cucumber and Mint Slaw

This bright slaw is loosely based on a cabbage and cucumber salad from a favourite cookbook, Summer Kitchens, by Ukrainian cookbook author Olia Hercules. Olia’s books are an insight into the people and cuisine of Ukraine (and Eastern Europe), where growing and preparing food is a central focus. In a time of turmoil, keeping a connection to a place through its food can bring a sense of affinity - even from afar. If you haven’t already I recommend seeking out Olia's cookbooks, which are available at many libraries and bookstores around the country. 
Servings 4
Prep Time 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • ¼ red onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • generous pinch of salt
  • generous pinch of sugar
  • 300 g (about 3 cups) green cabbage, thinly sliced
  • half a telegraph cucumber
  • handful of mint or parsley, roughly chopped
  • cracked black pepper
  • about 1 tbsp olive oil

Instructions

  • Combine the onion, vinegar, salt and sugar in the base of a salad bowl. Use fingers to massage the onion until softened. Add the cabbage and mix it together.
  • Peel the cucumber and halve lengthways. Use a teaspoon to scoop out the seeds (this will prevent the cucumber from going soggy in the salad) and slice them into half moons. Add to the cabbage along with the mint.
  • Season with cracked pepper and toss to combine. Drizzle generously with the oil just before serving.

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My new cookbook The Homemade Table is now available at bookstores around Aotearoa NZ, plus order signed copies HERE

(Note: I am not sending to Australia or overseas at this time – books can be ordered HERE).

Join the Conversation

  1. Sharyn Ratcliffe says:

    these sound lovely am going to try them both

    1. Wonderful, enjoy!

  2. These two salad recipes look fantastic. I love how they both incorporate fresh, seasonal ingredients that are not only healthy but also bursting with flavor. The variety in textures and colors makes them so appealing, and the dressings sound deliciously unique. Your clear instructions and beautiful photos make it easy to follow along and recreate these salads at home. I can’t wait to try them out and add some new favorites to my regular rotation.

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