How to Make Cabbage Salad: A Salute to you, Katherine of Aragon

By: Melanie

Yep, those are tears in my eyes...

On last summer’s trip to Europe, I was ecstatic when we finally arrived in London. I literally shed a tear when we toured the Tower of London (hey, I’ve never claimed to be cool). The Tower was the temporary “home” and place of execution for everyone from Sir Walter Raleigh, Sir Thomas More, and of course, Ann Boleyn.

Coincidentally, my bed-time reading for the trip was Phillipa Gregory’s The Constant Princess and The Virgin’s Lover.  I love everything I’ve ever read by her and these books certainly didn’t disappoint. Here she seamlessly weaves Tudor history with fictionalized accounts of Katherine of Aragon and Elizabeth I. However, I feel obliged to mention my one bone with the latter. Not the best title; not the best cover art. I know it’s superficial, but stuff like this matters. I’m sorry, but I don’t really want to be seen carrying around a book with the words “The Virgin’s Lover” scrolled in bold glittery font under which is a pastel picture of a headless corseted woman with a heaving bosom. I swear…It’s not what it looks like! It’s historical!


Getting back to the point…of all the historical and political insight and intrigue these novels have to offer, I was uber-fascinated by one tiny factoid: Katherine of Aragon brought salad to England. She ate lettuce as a child growing up in Spain and requested that it be planted for her in England. Though the concept of eating vegetables raw seemed not only unappealing but unhealthy to the English, she planted the seeds and began harvesting lettuce.

Kudos, Katherine!

Below is my all time favorite salad. Though it doesn’t utilize the traditional lettuce that Katherine craved, but rather cabbage, it’s still the perfect summer dish.  It’s also excellent left-over!

 Oriental Cabbage Salad



 ¾ cup slivered almonds, toasted

4 Tbsp sesame seeds, toasted

½ –  ¾ head of cabbage, chopped

½ cup green onions, if desired

2 pkgs ramen noodles, uncooked and broken up


2 Tbsp sugar

½ cup vegetable oil

3 Tbsp vinegar

½ tsp salt

½ tsp pepper

½ package seasoning from oriental noodle flavored ramen noodle package


Toss all salad ingredients together

Mix all dressing ingredients together in a shaker for easy pouring, or wisk together in a small bowl.

Add dressing just before serving and toss well. 

To make a complete meal, top with grilled chicken breast.

About melanieandchristy

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This entry was posted in Books, Phillipa Gregory, Salads, Summer dishes, Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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