Somewhere South with Chef Vivian Howard

Swamp Cabbage Slaw

Photo by Andrea Weigl

Photo by Andrea Weigl

This swamp cabbage recipe comes courtesy of Michael Hymans, attorney and self-described “cracker folklorist” from our barbecue episode. While it may not win the prettiest dish award, it will definitely win the taste award. Pair this side dish with pork and fried fish.

Note: you can substitute 1 sabal palm head for 8 cups hearts of palm.


  • 1 Sabal Palm Head           
  • 1 medium sweet onion
  • 1 grapefruit
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons dark sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon salt 
  • Dash of ground ginger
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
  • ⅛ cup apple cider vinegar (or up to ¼ cup to taste)


Having kept the rough cut Sabal Palm heart fresh in ice water and lemon, chop the heart of palm, small but not fine. Chop the onion smaller than the palm. Combine in a large bowl, and squeeze ½ grapefruit over it to keep the color white.

In another bowl combine the mayonnaise, sesame oil, honey, salt, ginger, poppy seeds and vinegar, including remaining ½ grapefruit juice. Taste to confirm the proportions suit you.  Mix dressing with palm and onion, controlling wetness by withholding some if needed (some like it wetter than others, some like it more vinegary so adjust to taste and preference).

Yield: 10 to 12 servings