Monday, October 19, 2009

Red is a Many Splendored Thing

I’ve never liked coleslaw. Most people believe that all cabbage is created equal, and live blissfully unaware of the many different varieties of green cabbage. This leads them to be undiscriminating about the type of cabbage they use in their coleslaw. To make the dish even more offensive, they add pineapple, loads of commercial mayonnaise, and little marshmallows, earning coleslaw a prominent place on my scary food list.

The day I discovered red cabbage a veil was lifted from my eyes. This vegetable is splendid.

In addition to its spectacular color this cabbage is sweet, tender, and has just a tiny bit of a bite. As this is a vegetable we do not grow, it must be hunted down at Farmer’s Markets and farm stands. I was lucky enough to find some at the Norris Berry Farm stand in Monkton Ridge. Harvest Dinner was the following week and red cabbage slaw seemed the perfect dish for this event. I purchased every red cabbage on the table, and was delighted with my score. The resulting slaw was even more delightful.
This Slaw recipe was developed quite a few years ago--shortly after I discovered the miracle of red cabbage. For the best flavor, home made mayonnaise must be used. See my earlier post "Hold the Mayo?" for the recipe. For the very best flavor, make this dish the day before it is to be served.
Red Cabbage Slaw
1 small red cabbage
1 medium onion
2 carrots at least 6” long
¼ c. mayonnaise
1 Tbsp. celery seed
2 Tbsp. cider vinegar
1 tsp. Kosher salt
Black pepper

Wash the cabbage and pull off the touch outer leaves. Cut the cabbage into quarters. Cut out the tough “stem” cores at the bottom of each wedge. Discard or save for soup stock. Grate the cabbage, onion and carrots by hand or using a food processor fitted with a grating blade. Put these ingredients into a large bowl. Mix in the mayonnaise, celery seed, and cider vinegar.

If the salad seems dry, add a little more mayonnaise. Add the kosher salt and a good grind of black pepper. Mix well to combine. If the dish is not being served immediately, scrape into an air tight container and refrigerate. Just before serving, taste the slaw and adjust the seasoning as needed.

1 comment:

  1. I'm with you on coleslaw. I love German red cabbage salad and the like, but slaw with mini-marshmallows is *terrifying*.