Curtido – El Salvadoran Spicy Cabbage Salad

lSo good! and soooo spicy and vinegary it will make you weep with pleasure and pain.

Best served with Pupusas — the well-respected standard of El Salvadoran kitchens — because they are relatively bland and can both benefit from the spiciness of the Curtido — and balance it as it hits your palette. — but try it to offset cornbread, or Irish Soda Bread — as a side to fish, or even empanadas!

Some northern cooks add sliced cucumbers or peppers.  Others even add tomatoes to the mix.  Some have added red cabbage to the mix, but this tends to make the whole mix slightly pink-purple which is not ideal.  Fresh and green with just hints of orange and purple and green is the look you’re after….

For best results, make it at least 6 hours ahead and chill — it’s best served cold with hot breads and/or meats.)

Serves — a lot.  This makes a big bowl full.
Keep leftovers in a glass jar for up to 4 days
(it only gets better!)

1 large head of green cabbage (or 2 smaller heads), shredded
2 med carrots, grated
1 med red onion, sliced very thin, cut to crescent half rings
2 bunches green onions, slicend thin, including up to 5 inches of the green tops
1 t cayenne pepper (less if you’re inclined to milder tastes)
1/2 t sweet paprika
1 t oregano
1 t brown sugar
1/2 t salt
1 c apple cider vinegar
1/2 c water
1/4 c light oil
2 quarts boiling water


Combine seasonings with the vinegar and water and set aside.

Wash and prepare all the veggies and place them in a large colander in the sink.

When water is boiling, pour it over the veggies evenly, to wilt them.  Drain and then transfer them to a very large bowl.

Combine oil into dressing and pour over the veggies, tossing well.   Transfer this to either a large ziplocked bag or a bowl that can be sealed, and chill for at least 6 hours. (longer is better)


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