A classic Israeli table is covered with about a dozen colorful salads from all over the Middle East. Once you've eaten in a typical Israeli restaurant, you know exactly what I'm talking about. Everything from hummus to babaganush gets served on endless small plates so that you can barely see the table. The collection of salads is a sign of the Israel bountifulness, and general generosity found all over the country.
One of Israel's most famous salads, found in every falafel stand, is the red cabbage salad.
Cabbage weighed down, in thick mayonnaise, with a touch of garlic; this salad is one of those world famous unhealthy salads. I honestly don’t understand why someone would go to the effort of making, or even just eating, a salad that is bad for you; but then maybe that’s why it’s so popular. Found in shwarmas, falafels, and occasionally a sabra hamburger, that red cabbage salad is consumed in massive proportions in Israel.
While the classic version of a red cabbage salad is considered a standard all over Israel, I thought it deserved an unconventional re-imagining.
Instead of going with something generic like the version of the salad found in every supermarket, I incorporated persimmons in order to celebrate the coming fall. A great way to celebrate the new season is by using some of its finest produce. Using seasonal ingredients has become a bit of a cooking trend and for good reason. By using seasonal produce you end up with a brighter, fresher, and tastier dish.
The sweet and sour dressing and fresh herbs keep the salad feeling light, while the hint of garlic and bright purple cabbage keep it strongly tied to the dish that inspired it. Together, the ingredients make a bright and colorful salad that has no resemblance to the lifeless one that fills endless pitas.