Cucumber, Corn and Cabbage Salad

From Nourished: A Memoir of Cooking and the Arts

Cook and Prep. Time:  25 minutes   /     Serves 3-4

  • 1 small ½ head red cabbage, cut coarsely in 1-2 inch chunks, cooked on low-medium heat 6 minutes.
  • 3 stalks fresh corn, cooked 5 minutes, then kernels scraped off
  • ½ large English cucumber, peeled, sliced in ½ inch pieces, cut again in half
  • 3 scallions, chopped 
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • ¼ tsp dill
  • ¼ tsp basil
  • ½ tsp tarragon
  • ½ tsp sesame seeds
  • 1 ½ tsp honey
  • 3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 ½ tsp salt, or more to taste, divided
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 3 Tbsp Parmesan cheese, freshly grated

1) Boil water in a large pot. Cook the corn, turn off the heat, and move the corn to a platter. Sprinkle it with ½ teaspoon of salt. Let it cool for 2-3 minutes. Scrape or slice off the corn, trying to keep it in chunky pieces. Place in a medium bowl.

2)  Bring the water to a boil again, add the cabbage, break up any large pieces. Cook it. Drain it. Let it cool slightly, adding it to the corn. Add the butter, stir gently. 

3)  Add the cucumber and scallions. Add the remainder of salt, pepper, the red wine vinegar, the honey, dill, basil, tarragon, ending with the Parmesan cheese. Fold gently 2 or 3 times so the flavors fuse. 

4)  Adjust for additional seasonings. Serve at room temperature, or slightly chilled for an hour or so.

5)  For best flavor and appearance, consume within 1-2 days.

Tips and Tweaks:

• For garlic lovers, at step 3, add 2 minced garlic cloves, and follow the rest of the directions.

• The vegetable proportions can be adjusted up or down, depending on your personal preferences. 

• This salad is light and refreshing, but it can be made spicier by adding other herbs like cumin, oregano, parsley, cilantro, and rosemary in step 3. However, use these in moderation, otherwise you’ll lose the unique taste of the salad. For a creamy texture, fold in 2-3 tablespoons of mayonnaise in step 3. 

• For more color, and to sweeten the dish up a bit, at step 3 add ½ red pepper, cut in small pieces.

• To create a dish with more tang, along with the mayonnaise, add 2 teaspoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice at step 3.

• Zucchini, as well as yellow squash, or eggplant, are excellent vegetables to bump up flavor here. Add 1 or 2 thinly sliced zucchinis, or 1 medium size sliced eggplant at step. 1.

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