Last Updated on July 19, 2022
If you’re looking for a delicious & light seasonal side salad, try this vegan-friendly Lemon Caper Savoy Cabbage Salad! It’s crunchy, lemony and refreshing yet it has a briny bite from the capers & onion as an accent. It’s one of my favorite salads to make between winter to early spring when organic savoy cabbage are available!
I used to believe that savoy cabbage is a type of Japanese cabbage. In Japanese, we call it “Chirimen cabetsu [ちりめんキャベツ]” which means crinkled cabbage. The word “chirimen [縮緬]” refers to a type of fabric, crepe fabric to be exact. The leaves of savoy cabbage have a similar texture and the appearance of chirimen (or crepe fabric) thus the origin of the Japanese name for savoy cabbage was acquired.
Savoy cabbage is originated in Europe. As mentioned, unlike regular green cabbage, the leaves are uniquely crinkled, firmer and crunchier. When you apply heat, the crinkled appearance still remain and the texture is still nicely firm. What I like the most about savoy cabbage is it becomes sweeter when you cook and also the “cabbage smell” is much milder (almost non-existent.)
In my opinion, both the texture & taste of savoy cabbage is a cross between Napa cabbage and green cabbage.
In this this Lemon Caper Savoy Cabbage Salad recipe, the cabbage is raw so it’s got a really satisfying crunch that you can’t get from regular green cabbage. To be honest, the taste of raw green cabbage is not my favorite but the raw savoy cabbage is so enjoyable. So, if you’re like me, this salad could be a game changer!
The Lemon & Caper Combo
I have to say the combination of these two, lemon and caper, is one of my favorite flavor marriages. The citrusy punch from the lemon zest and the juice truly complements the savory and somewhat earthy flavor of capers.
I make Linguine with Kale and Lemon Caper Sauce which is also a fantastic dish to enjoy the lemon & caper flavor combo!
The trick to make it very lemony is to use the lemon zest. Of course, the juice of lemon itself is lemony but the zest has the intense aroma of lemon which is what makes the dish. That said, I like this particular salad, Lemon Caper Savoy Cabbage Salad, with more lemon juice than I typically use for salads. In my opinion, the tangier the better.
What to Pair With
Lemon Caper Savoy Cabbage Salad is a great side dish for any pasta especially cream-based and/or oil-based pasta. You can make this as a side salad for any of your sandwiches!
Be sure to check out the “Step-by-Step Instructions (w/ Photos)” after the Printable Recipe!
Lemon Caper Savoy Cabbage Salad (Vegan)
- 4-5 savoy cabbage leaves teared into bite-size pieces (about 6 oz)
- 1/4 red onion thinly sliced (about 1.2 oz / 35 g)
- Zest of 1 lemon about 1 tbsp
- 1-1 1/2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice about 1/2 lemon
- 1 1/2 tbsp drained capers
- 1/4-1/2 sea salt adjust to taste
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients and give a quick toss. Let it rest for 5 minutes.
- Serve and enjoy!
- Savoy cabbage is a variety of cabbage with crinkle leaves.
- It has firmer & crunchier leaves and a milder taste than regular green cabbage.
- The leaves are crunchy so they withstand in salad very well.
- I use red onion for the accented color and the sweetness.
- You can use other onions like yellow or white onions if you prefer.
- What makes this salad lemony is the lemon zest! Be sure to use it.
- Size of lemon and the juiciness may vary. Adjust accordingly.
- In my opinion, this particular salad taste better when it has lots of lemon juice so it’s quite punchy & tangy. If you aren’t sure, I recommend using smaller amount than the recipe calls for.
- Capers are typically pickled in brine and sold in a glass jar.
- It’s quite briny so you can adjust the amount of salt to your preference.
- I like Jeff’s Garden Organic Imported Non-Pareil Capers. It tastes great and has a larger mouth which is very convenient with easy access.
- As an option, use your favorite vegan cheese toppings to enhance the flavor! I use my Brazil Nut Parmesan recipe to change it up.
- What’s good about this salad is measurements don’t have to be precise. Find your own preference and adjust the amount accordingly.
- Simple salad like this makes a big difference when you use high quality sea salt and extra virgin olive oil!
- You can change the texture of the salad if you shred the savoy cabbage into thin strips.
- If you like the salad to be less crunchy, massage them with hands. To do so, combine everything except capers in step 1. Let it rest for 5 minutes then add capers at the end.
- Use high quality sea salt and extra virgin olive oil.
How to Store
- You can make this salad ahead of time and keep in a fridge although the texture of the cabbage will change. Best to consume within 1-2 days.
Step-by-Step Instructions (w/ Photos)
1. In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients and give a quick toss. Let it rest for 5 minutes.
2. Serve and enjoy!
If you enjoy the recipe, please share, leave a comment below and tag us @plantbased_matters on Instagram! Your kind support will be greatly appreciated 🙂