Happy belated birthdays to Thidz and Stef!
I have never made coleslaw before in my life. In fact, I don’t even really like coleslaw. For this, though, I will make an exception. And I made all this without even consulting a recipe! I guess a lifetime of watching my mother cobble together a slaw left a lasting impression. This particular combination offers a bit of a snappy uptake on the traditional Southern slaw, and I hope you like it. If I do say so myself, I make a mean slaw. Remember that a slaw is always best the next day, after the flavours have had a chance to intermix. Also, if you say slaw a lot it starts to sound weird in your head. Slaw. Slaw. Slaw, slaw slaw. Slaw. What a weird-looking word.
Before we begin, I would like to introduce you to my cabbage. This was the smallest one I could find in the produce section, and, to give you a size comparison, that is a two-litre kettle sitting next to it.
Cabbage is the basis of every slaw. I am not too fond of the bitterness of red cabbage, though I know it adds a bit of colour to the salad. Nevertheless, I’m sticking with the green one. If you have a food processor, then this salad is a snap to prepare. I like to do certain things by hand, however, and me and my stupid sharp knife get along real well. You’ll want to hack off a hunk of your cabbage and then start slicing off bits real nice and thin.
If they are too long and dangly for your liking, feel free to cut the little cabbage strips in half before tossing them in a large bowl.
I also have some fennel here, which makes for a nice aniseed-y aftertaste in the salad.
Don’t worry too much about the green bits — focus on cutting up the white parts really thin and chuck those in with the cabbage. Don’t add too much, or your slaw will just taste like liquorice.
Next, I’m going to grate a large carrot and add that in for sweetness and colour.
Some sweet red peppers.
Feel free to add ones that are a little spicy, but not too spicy.
And some red onion. Give that a toss.
Now you make up your dressing. I think coleslaw dressings are kind of like curries — they need a lot of ingredients in order to encapsulate all the important flavours a slaw needs. In this one I have olive oil, rice vinegar, dijon mustard, minced garlic, brown sugar, celery seed, and mustard seed. You can replace the rice vinegar with white vinegar if you want something a little stronger. The Pie is not a huge fan of heavy vinegar usage which is why I take the milder rice vinegar more often than not.
I poured all that into a plastic container with a lid and gave it a good shake.
Now your salad is all ready to be dressed. Pour on the dressing in stages and toss to coat. You want enough dressing so you get some pooling at the bottom. It will be absorbed into the salad while it sits.
Seal your tossed and dressed salad in a container and refrigerate overnight.
Serve with burgers and fries, or any other summery food you can think of.