Riffs on Coleslaw
1/2 to 1whole small head green cabbage, slivered
1-2 medium carrots, peeled
1 cucumber, peeled, sliced in half, seeds removed (using a spoon), sliced thinly into quarter moons, optional
fresh parlsey, minsed
minced pickled ginger
black sesame seeds
pickled shallots: remove and discard papery skin, sliced the shallot into very thin rounds and cover with champagne vinegar for about an hour. Use pickled shallots to garnish salads and use the flavored vinegar in the dressing.
Dressings ingredients might include:
citrus juices and zest: lemon, lime, and orange juice
vinegars: apple/cider, wine (champagne, sherry, red, white), rice wine, soy
oils: infused, such as hot chili or herb, nut (walnut, hazelnut, peanut), meyer lemon, and olive, including extra-virgen
sweeteners: agave syrup and liquified honey
Most vinaigrettes are typically 1 part acid (vinegar and/or citrus juice) to 3 parts oil, although I typically have a heavier hand with the vinegar because I love it so, making my ratio about equal for slaws. The fun of mixing and matching is introduced by the wide varieties of flavored vinegars and oils that are available on the market. Check out your local specialty grocery stores.
For a coleslaw, it is important to introduce a sweet dimension to the dressing that we deliver through a generous squirt of Agave syrup because it is a liquid and doesn't solidify over time like honey. If you use granulated sugar, it will have a difficult time dissolving and will likely feel gritty on the tongue. To avoid the sandy texture, first combine the vinegar or acid with the sugar. Stir until dissolved and then add to the slaw.
And, finally, with all salads whether leaf or cabbage based, I always begin with salt and peppper, and tossing, before adding the rest of the dressing ingredients. For a creamy dimension, add in a tablespoon or two of mayonnaise or plain greek yogurt. Here are some general guidelines to get you started:
To the base mix, add any prepared vegetables that appeal to you. Sprinkle sea salt and grind freshly ground black pepper over the prepared vegetables in the salad bowl. Toss with two salad spoons. Add about 1 part vinegar - champagne, apple or red wine - or freshly squeezed lemon juice to 3 parts olive oil and a healthy squirt of agave syrup and 1 or 2 tablespoons mayonnaise or plain greek yogurt. Toss well. Taste, adjust seasonings. Serve immediately.
Shave fennel into the bottom of the salad bowl and toss with 1 or 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice to preserve color. Add rest of vegetables and minced parsley and tarragon. Sprinkle sea salt and grind freshly ground black pepper over the prepared vegetables in the salad bowl. Toss with two salad spoons. Add 2-3 tablespoons olive oil and a healthy squirt of agave syrup. Toss well. Taste, adjust seasonings. Serve immediately.
I like to add in julienned jicama and shredded daikon radish. Thinly sliced rounds of red radish are pretty in lieu of the daikon. Minced pickled jalapenos are tasty and a sprinkling of cilantro leaves adds nice color and flavor. Scallions are nice, too either as garnish or tossed into the mix.
Sprinkle sea salt and grind freshly ground black pepper over the prepared vegetables in the salad bowl. Toss with two salad spoons. Add about 1 part lime juice to 3 parts olive oil and a healthy squirt of agave syrup. Toss. Taste, adjust seasonings. Serve immediately.
To the base coleslaw mix add thin slices of pickled ginger, shredded daikon radish, and 1-2 tablespoons toasted black sesame seeds.
Sprinkle sea salt and grind freshly ground black pepper over the prepared vegetables in the salad bowl. Toss with two salad spoons. Add about 1 part soy vinegar or seasoned rice vinegar to 1 part dark sesame oil, 1 part hot chili oil, and 1 part olive oil and a healthy squirt of agave syrup. Toss. Taste, adjust seasonings. Serve immediately.
Juliette's Favorite based on Food For Life (more tangy, no sugar):
One small had cabbage, sliced as thin as you can with a chef's knife. Add one or two grated carrots. One firm red bell pepper deveined and seeded, and sliced very thin. Using a citrus press, squeeze the juice of one lemon over the top of the slaw, salt liberally, grinds of black pepper, mayo to your taste. Stir well. Add lots of minced dill and mix it again. The slaw is best after it has sat in the fridge overnight, and served the next day.
Similar to Colonel Sanders' recipe, but better:
To coat 1 small head of slivered cabbage and 2 medium carrots, peeled and shredded - combine the following ingredients, stirring well, preferably with a whisk:
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon each sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup Best Foods Mayonnaise, low-fat or regular
1/4 cup milk, low-fat or whole
1/4 cup buttermilk
1-1/2 Tbsps cider vinegar
2-1/2 Tbsps freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 1 medium sized lemon)
Toss the slaw mix completely with the dressing, cover and let rest in the refrigerator a minimum of 2 hours before serving. Garnish with minced fresh parsley.