Cabbage Salad with Warm Shallot Vinaigrette
February 2024, Recipes

Cabbage Salad with Warm Shallot Vinaigrette

By Caitlin Rothermel

When we first moved to Vashon, we had the pleasure of working with Len Wolff, one of the most professional and responsive realtors on the Island. Recently, Len and his wife Nancy started a new venture with the magazine, “Good To Be Home,” which is how I first came across this recipe. 

In truth, I initially read the recipe because I don’t like raw cabbage, or any cabbage-dominant recipe, and I wanted to be proved correct again in my lifestyle choices. But this salad intrigued me. That’s because it uses a hot shallot/garlic vinaigrette to instantly cook the chopped cabbage, and I love shallots and garlic as much as I’m bored by cabbage. Furthermore, the final step of the recipe, where you add the hot vinaigrette to the cabbage mix, provides a very satisfactory feeling of finesse and completion. Last, there’s the cheese part.

I’ve made this several times now, and it has become a household staple. Along the way, I’ve I added some tweaks to the original recipe to really perfect it. Read on and you will see. 


Serves 4

  • Green cabbage, about ½ of a medium head (2- to 3-lbs) 
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 4 medium shallots
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2-3 tbsp red wine or rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 cup freshly shaved gruyere or other Alpine-style cheese
  • Optional: ½ cup walnuts pieces or pumpkin seeds
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper


In a very small bowl, mix and set aside the balsamic vinegar, red wine vinegar, Dijon, and honey. 

Slice the cabbage thinly and in a crosswise direction; place in a large bowl. Add ½ to 1 tsp salt and squeeze the cabbage (“massage” it) with your hands to distribute, soften, and absorb. Do this for 20-30 seconds. This part is essential!  

Gently mix or toss the cheese and all the nuts (if used) into the cabbage mixture (no squeezing this time). 

Slice the shallots and garlic very thinly. In a small pan, heat the olive oil and butter until the butter melts. Add the shallots and garlic, season with salt and pepper, and stir frequently at low/moderate heat until the shallots soften and caramelize – about 10-15 minutes. 

Remove shallot / garlic mixture and immediately whisk in the mixed vinegar, Dijon, and honey. Last, pour the final shallot vinaigrette over the cabbage mixture and toss to coat and wilt. 

February 9, 2024

About Author

caitlin I’m a member of the Vashon Loop Editorial Board and write about medicine, health, and society. I’m a research geek and an MPH, and I’m also a mom, farmer, teacher, and apocalypse librarian. I edit things. If I’m not doing something, it’s probably because I am asleep.