Sunday, January 17, 2010

Winter Salads: Coleslaw

When I spotted this wall of cabbage at the market Saturday at Nash's Organic Produce, I knew it was time for Coleslaw. Not just any coleslaw but my own coleslaw, just the way I like it. My recipe for this first appeared in a cooking class and later in my book Local Vegetarian Cooking.

When the book first came out in 2005, I hosted a Vegetarians of Washington dinner in February, and my recipes were prepared served. When I composed the menu with Coleslaw as the salad, the president of the organization struck it from the menu. When I asked why, he replied, "I think of coleslaw with the 4th of July. It's more of a summer food."

Tell that to Nash Huber and all the Northwest farmers who grow cabbage and sell it in the winter. People please visit a farmers' market and get to know our Northwest seasons before making menu calls on seasonal foods.

Finn likes the idea of coleslaw in January. Just as I was about to pick up the tray, he nearly took the red cabbage. Thankfully he knows the word "wait." The only problem with that command is it's often followed by "OK" and he takes the food.

I lured him away with the promise of something better. But really what could be better than coleslaw in January?

Here's a recipe from my book:


Cabbage lovers in the Northwest can rejoice because farm-fresh cabbage is available most of the year. And many locally grown cabbage varieties are tastier than cheap grocery store cabbage. For this recipe, I use traditionally made apple cider vinegar from Rockridge Orchards in Enumclaw, Washington. For ginger flavor variation, add ginger juice (squeezed from 1 tablespoon of grated ginger.) The lemons are Meyer lemons, which are in season right now.

1/2 cup aioli or mayonnaise
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon ketchup
1/2 tablespoon chopped bottled hot peppers (optional)
Pinch of salt
2 medium Granny Smith apples, peeled and shredded
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
4 to 4 1/2 cups thinly shredded green cabbage
1/4 cup chopped dried fruit such as apricots, figs, or sour cherries

1. Whisk together the aioli or mayonnaise, vinegar, ketchup, hot peppers if desired, and salt in a small bowl. Toss the shredded apples with the lemon juice.
2. Combine the apples, cabbage, and dried fruit in a large bowl. Toss and mix well, and blend in the dressing.


Kathy said...

The image of the cabbages is nice, great color. Cabbage is one of my favorite snack foods. Love the flavor, the crunch and all the nutrtional benefits.

Thanks for a great post! Finn is a gourmet dog!

Lesacooks said...

Wow, what a great reminder to "check in" at the farmers market first. :) and I love the addition of Rockridge vinegar. I think their vinegars make everything sing. Cheers!

Debra said...

I totally agree! I've been pestering Wade for more berry vinegars.