This is the historic coleslaw version of cabbage from the Middle East. Usually I’m not a huge fan of cabbage. I like my cabbage with corned beef and this recipe, flavored cabbage. I have had people come up to me at events, when this dish was being displayed, asking for the redaction recipe. It’s just that good!
Take walnut meats and blanched almonds and toasted hazelnuts. Pound everything, then take caraway which you toast and pound fine, and with it a little thyme and garlic seed. Then you perfume the cabbage with good oil. Then you take a little bit of vinegar; you dissolve the walnuts and ingredients with it. Then you throw on a sufficiency of tahineh, and let there be a little Syrian cheese with it. Add the spices to them and arrange them, then you throw the rest of the ingredients on the bowl. Then throw in some of the first spice enough to perfume their taste and aroma. It is not eaten until the next day.
1/2 Cabbage ¼ C. ea. ground walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts
1 tbs. ground toasted caraway 1 ½ tsp thyme (ground or fresh chopped)
2 cloves garlic 4 Tbs . sesame oil
1/3 C. vinegar ½ C. Tahineh
1 C. Feta
I had in my garden a few heads of cabbage. Now the cabbage I grew is not the tight packed cabbage head normally seen in the grocery store, nor was it any of the Chinese variations of cabbage. The cabbage I used was a loose leaf and not very tight packed head that survived one of the worst droughts of the SW seen in years. The flavor was good but mild with a crisp leaf and dark green color.
My suggestion for the type of cabbage to use, is one that you will eat. If you like a specific type try the cabbage in the recipe. In the past I’ve used both green and red with tight packed heads; however my favorite thus far is the type grown in the garden.
I used a coffee grinder for the walnuts (and hazelnuts when available) while buying almond meal, putting these in a bowl to the side.
The caraway can be toasted in the oven (keep a very close on the seeds if you choose to do this) or toasted on top of the stove using a hot pan. Once the seeds have been toasted, grind them up, either by hand in a mortar or in a cleaned coffee grinder. I used pre-ground thyme and regular garlic instead of seeds. (Seeds were unavailable.)
I cut the cabbage heads ( I used 2 small cabbage heads the size of my fist since they were very loosely packed) in half and then sliced about a fingers width. Once the cabbage is sliced, flavor with the dark sesame oil.
Now here you can use either light (toasted) sesame oil or a dark sesame oil. I used the dark for a full body, richer taste. The dark sesame oil will not be over powered by the tahini and spices.
The next step is to stir the ground nuts into the vinegar.
Then incorporate the spices once the nuts are well mixed with the vinegar.
Then include the tahini into the mixture.
This looks a little bit like hummus just a bit more liquid. Once everything is well mixed toss with the cabbage, adding a 3/4 of the feta cheese.
Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup of cheese on top. Cover and let sit for a day for the flavors to blend together.
This is one of those dishes that is almost a meal. The nuts, cheese and oil add an excellent taste and heartiness to the dish. If there was nothing else in the house to eat then cabbage with bread was it. So the calories had to be packed in some how…and flavor incorporated enough to actually want to eat.
No really, even if you don’t like cabbage except in small amounts, try this one recipe!