Cabbage has won a firm place in my affections in recent years. It may be humble but it has hidden depths. Try roasting it and you'll see what I mean - it brings out an amazing, mellow sweetness and a depth of flavor that is as surprising as it is delicious. But I've also come to appreciate it raw, something I attribute almost entirely to my beloved handheld mandolin (more on why it's a great tool) which makes slicing it thinly the work of a moment and transforming it from a veggie with a decidedly pedestrian reputation into something airy and even rather elegant.
And cabbages are so beautiful - check out the intricate maze that's hiding inside a red cabbage - it looks to me like it wants to be noticed.
Coleslaw can be so good - crispy-crunchy with a nice little zing from the vinegar and the right mix of salty and sweet. This one is as quick and simple as it is tasty. Cabbage, red onion, and yellow and orange carrots both for the color and for their sweetness. Sometimes I also add some apple which adds a lovely crunchy sweetness but does not hold up very well so it's better if you're planning to eat it all in one sitting rather than storing some in the fridge.
One of the secrets to the flavor of this slaw is the crushed caraway. I love the taste - warm and sweet with hints of both fennel and cumin. Plus, I like anything that reminds me of a really good Jewish rye bread...
The dressing is simple - apple cider vinegar, mayonnaise, salt, pepper, caraway, a glug of honey, and a spoonful of Dijon mustard.
Then toss it all together. Take a bite and adjust the seasonings to your taste. That's it. Keeps well in the fridge for several days and even gets a bit tastier as the flavors have a chance to meld.
This is a great accompaniment to these wonderful vegetarian barbecue baked beans and maple sage buttermilk cornbread as well as all manner of sandwiches and burgers.
Serves 4-6 as a side
* 1/2 head cabbage, core removed, thinly sliced
* 2-3 carrots, peeled and shredded on a box grater
* 1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
For the dressing
* 1/3 cup mayonnaise
* 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
* 1 Tbsp honey
* 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
* 1-2 tsps caraway seed, crushed (I use a mortar and pestle to rough them up some but you can certainly leave them whole if you prefer that)
* 1-2 tsps sea salt
* 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Place the grated and shredded vegetables in a medium bowl. Whisk the dressing together in a small bowl or glass until smooth then pour over the vegetables and stir to make sure everything is well-coated before serving. Store in a container with a tight-fitting lid in the refrigerator.
You might also like:
- Red Cabbage, Lime, Cilantro & Honey Slaw
- Salty-Sweet Roasted Cabbage - A Revelation
- Rumbledethumps - How the Scots Like Their Cabbage