Health Salad

Ever been to the Second Avenue Deli? They bring you amazing pickles and health salad while you’re waiting for your matzah ball soup

Okay, so health salad isn’t really so healthy…I guess it’s called health salad because it’s cole slaw without mayo. Instead, it has vinegar, sugar, and a little oil. Anyway, it’s amazing. And we always ask for more.

So, when I bought the 2nd Ave Deli cookbook, it was the first recipe I made from it. After a few tweaks to the written recipe, I just love it.

I think this is a great recipe to make on a Friday afternoon to serve for Shabbat lunch, especially in the summer. Who wants a mayo-ish cole slaw right before going out to the pool? Not me, but this health salad is a perfect side for your pre-beach time lunch!

Health Salad, Adapted from the 2nd Ave Deli Cookbook


  • 1 1/2 pounds (1/2 head) white cabbage
  • 1 stalk celery, sliced into paper-thin slices on your mandolin
  • 3 carrots, sliced into paper-thin slices on your mandolin
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper


1. Remove and discard the loose cabbage leaves and the core.

2. Shred the cabbage leaves: the way I do it is by cutting the cabbage into quarters, then slicing it very thin, and then cutting the long pieces into three or so small ones. You can also do it in your food processor.

3. Place cabbage in a large bowl and add the other veggies. Mix well.

4. In a separate bowl, mix all the other ingredients. Pour them over the cabbage and mix well (using your hands is best).

5. Chill overnight and serve.