Red Cabbage Slaw w/ Tahini & Za’atar

Summer is for grilling meat, and nothing compliments grilled meat better than a fresh, colorful, and brightly flavored cabbage slaw that fills the role of both salad and side dish.

This recipe has been evolved from a very simple pickled red cabbage idea and turned into a more hearty and interesting side dish thanks to a range of herbs, spices, and tahini. The best part is that it’s still a blank slate for improvisation…any vegetables or spices you have on hand could probably integrate quite well….


(Serves 2-4)


  • 1 medium red cabbage, quartered then sliced thinly using a mandolin or sharp chefs knife
  • 0.75 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 1.5 TBSP salt
  • 1.5 TBSP white sugar
  • About half a bunch of chopped parsley
  • 4 whole scallions, sliced thinly on a 45 degree angle
  • Handful of shaved carrots (the bagged variety is quite fine)
  • Half a jalapeƱo or fresno chile, stemmed, seeded and chopped finely
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2-3 TBSP Za’atar (available in a good spice market, otherwise, improvise with equal parts dried Thyme, lightly toasted sesame seeds, and sumac)
  • 2-3 TBSP Tahini (available at places like Whole Foods or specialty middle eastern markets)
  • 1 TBSP olive oil
  • Salt to taste
  • Sesame seeds to garnish



  1. Combine vinegar, salt and sugar in small sauce pan, bring to a boil and stir to make sure everything is combined, then remove from heat
  2. Slice the quartered cabbage thinly (~1/8″ slices) using a mandolin or sharp knife….the size and texture is up to personal preference. Place in large bowl, then pour in vinegar mixture, mixing with tongs to ensure solid coating
  3. Prep the rest of your vegetables…the way slaws like this work best is when the herbs, carrots, peppers, scallions, etc are roughly the same shape as your cabbage…also a good opportunity to practice some knife skills
  4. After 15-30 minutes of the cabbage absorbing the pickling liquid, drain any excess from the bowl and then combine the prepped herbs and veggies with the cabbage, then the spices, tahini, and olive oil, mixing everything as thoroughly as possible.
  5. Let sit for 5 minutes then taste again….add more salt, more tahini, or possibly a little lemon juice for more brightness (the richness of the tahini should balance the acidity of the pickling liquid). Serve in a smaller bowl and finish with sesame seeds or any leftover green herbs for a final garnish.
  6. This can sit for an hour at room temp while you grill your meat, or be stored, covered, in the fridge overnight for a badass side dish for tomorrow’s lunch.


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