Ah, Memorial Day- the unofficial kick off to the summer potluck season. I love potlucks, but sometimes THEY ARE STRESSFUL. I’m always nervous that my dish is going to be a flop. Or that I won’t make enough of it. Or it is going to give everyone food poisoning. And because I often frequent potlucks with other endurance and real food minded people, there’s the added component of making a dish that looks good (so people try it), tastes good (so you don’t have to bring back too many leftover), and makes people feel good (so they aren’t scared of your next dish).
And, on top of all of that, it has to be portable. Anything that has to be kept too cold, or can’t take a few bumps in the car is a no-go. So as much as I love a hot from the oven anything…I tend to go for dishes that are best at room temperature. If I have a little more time I make quiche or a galette (and also empty my fridge at the same time). And if the potluck is a last minute gathering (which never happens…) I go for this cabbage salad.
Filled with the heartiest (and also most economical) vegetable purple cabbage, chopped fresh dates, toasted sesame seeds, a healthy squeeze of lime and a sprinkling of goat cheese, this salad is a pot luck home run. Any leftovers save perfectly in the fridge for up to 3 days, and the recipe is easily scalable for your potluck population. It is crunchy and fresh, and is the furthest thing from a questionable slop of mayo laden pasta or potatoes. It goes with almost every grilled meat ever, and will no doubt fit right alongside any and all other dishes.
Potluck Cabbage Salad
Adapted from The Smitten Kitchen
Serves a lot or a little (but for a hearty side I would say serves 6)
1 medium purple cabbage (1.5-2 pounds), chopped very thin
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons lime juice
Salt, Pepper, and Red Pepper Flakes
1/2 cup fresh pitted dates, chopped
3 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds (just heat up a pan over medium, add seeds, and stir constantly until you get a nice nutty aroma. Make sure they don’t burn! You just want them to get a little color)
4-6 ounces crumbled goat cheese (depends on how creamy you want your salad!)
1/4 cup parsley, roughly chopped
Combine chopped cabbage with olive oil and lime juice. Add salt and peppers, and let sit for 30 minutes. This will help the cabbage soften just a touch, and also really let the lime fuse into the cabbage. Then, add dates, parsley and sesame seeds. Mix thoroughly. Finally (and if you are bringing this dish to a potluck do right before serving), stir in crumbled goat cheese. To make this really potluck pretty, sprinkle the top with a some more toasted sesame seeds and parsley. Enjoy!