When Costa Ricans make a salad, they don’t reach for lettuce: It’s fragile and wilts in the heat. Instead, they go for hardy and long-lasting cabbage. This salad is found just about everywhere in Costa Rica. It is a mainstay of cosado, a common daily main meal that also includes beans and rice, a fried plantain, a tortilla, and a little piece of meat or an egg. It is never laden with the heavy, high-fat salad dressings we’re used to seeing or the mayonnaise we put in cole slaw, the American version of cabbage salad. It is traditionally mixed with but one ingredient: lime juice.
4 cups cored and shredded green cabbage (about half a large head)
4 plum tomatoes, such as Roma tomatoes, diced (about 1 cup)
2 medium carrots, peeled and shredded through the large holes of a box grater
1 large red bell pepper, stemmed, cored, and diced (about 1 cup)
1⁄3 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1⁄2 cup fresh lime juice
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
Mix the cabbage, tomatoes, carrot, bell pepper, and cilantro in a large serving bowl.
The salad can be made to this point; cover and refrigerate for up to 4 hours.
Add the lime juice and salt.
Toss well to serve.
The Blue Zones Kitchen fuses scientific reporting, National Geographic photography and 100 recipes that may help you live to 100. The Blue Zones’ food tradition is going the way of the dodo bird, thanks to the encroachment of the American Food Culture.Learn More