Cruising on both the Pacific and Caribbean coasts of Mexico, Central America, and South America for the last eight years, we have a higher regard for the lowly cabbage. Available in many of the most remote and modest pueblos, it can survive for two or three weeks in the tropics without refrigeration, long after the refrigerated lettuces and other green vegetables have withered. But no praise of its practicality for cruising sailors (or even of its healthful benefits) is more compelling than its versatility. We eat cabbage cooked and raw, for lunches and for dinners. (We haven’t hit upon the breakfast recipe yet.) Usually I make one of the plentiful variations of cabbage salad, many of which have been born of that mother of invention – necessity. Cabbage Waldorf Salad, its genesis inspired by an old standard from childhood, is one of our favorites. It’s one over which our guests rave. If kept refrigerated, it’s even better the second or third day.
2 cups white cabbage, thinly sliced or chopped
1 large or 2 small apples, unpeeled, cored, and diced (about 2 cups)
2 ribs celery, thinly sliced, diagonally
½ (one half) cup dried cranberries (or other dried fruit)
¼ (one fourth) cup chopped walnuts
Combine ingredients in a large salad bowl.
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
3 tablespoons mango chutney (if unavailable, use orange marmalade)
Juice of 1 small lime
½ (one half) teaspoon cinnamon
¼ (one fourth) teaspoon ground ginger
¼-½ (one fourth to one half) teaspoon curry powder
Whisk together dressing ingredients. Pour over cabbage salad and mix well.
For a complete meal, mix in cubes of cooked chicken breast or a can of tuna. Serves four to six.