In Season: Rita Sodi’s Red Cabbage Salad

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Photo: Victor Prado; Illustrations by John Burgoyne

You can find good cabbage any time of the year, but winter is the brassica’s finest hour, its moment to shine among the gnarly roots of the February Greenmarket. Red varieties planted in the summer and fall with their chalkboard-squeaky outer leaves and icicle-crisp flesh are best for shredding raw into salads. I Sodi’s Rita Sodi, who grew up outside of Florence, combines the red and the green with Robiolina, a soft and creamy Italian cheese. She calls the result a cabbage salad, but why not think of it as Tuscan winter coleslaw?

Rita Sodi’s Cabbage Salad

2 1/2 tbs. golden raisins
1 tsp. white-wine vinegar
1 medium red cabbage (or 1/2 medium red cabbage and 1/2 medium green or savoy cabbage)
5 tbs. Robiolina cheese (at BuonItalia)
1/2 cup Parmigiano- Reggiano, grated
1/2 cup walnuts, crushed by hand
Extra-virgin olive oil to taste
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

In a bowl, cover the raisins with warm water and vinegar, soak for 30 minutes, then drain. (1) Cut the cabbage in half through the core, then cut the halves in half. (2) Remove the cores from each quarter-cabbage, and (3) shred into thin slices. Toss cabbage with the cheeses, raisins, walnuts, and olive oil until all the ingredients are well combined. Season with salt and pepper. Serves 4.

*This article originally appeared in the February 11, 2013 issue of New York Magazine.