This sweet-and-sour salad became popular at the Claremont Diner in Verona, New Jersey. The diner is gone, but we wanted the salad to live on.
Why This Recipe Works
This punchy, sweet-sour salad, ubiquitous in delis and diners across the northeastern United States marries green cabbage (which we prefer chopped coarsely) with thinly sliced green bell pepper, carrot, and onion. We mellow the acidity of the white vinegar–based dressing by diluting it with water, and we balance its sourness with 1/4 cup of sugar. Heating the dressing before pouring it over the vegetables ensures that the sugar will fully dissolve and that the dressing soaks deeply into the vegetables. Letting the salad sit in its dressing for a measure of time—anywhere from 2 hours to three days—allows the vegetables to soften.