I hate winter. Everything about it. The cold, the snow, the ice, the dry skin… About the only redeeming things of winter to me are the holidays (from Thanksgiving all the way through Valentine’s Day) and the extreme dip in the bug and spider population. (Especially this year, since at least around here, we’ve had far colder temps than normal!)
So, naturally, I spend every last frigid winter minute wishing for summer. And while I can’t replicate the hot, humid weather that demands the necessity for shorts and flip flops, I CAN still cook like it’s summer – even when it’s far too cold outside to even think about turning out the grill.
This post, and the two following it, are going to be a trifecta of summer lovin’. And by trifecta, I mean this one and the next one are going to be delicious, and the last one will be KNOCK your socks off AMAZING.
A summertime staple that seems to be an either-you-love-it-or-hate-it sort of dish is coleslaw. I grew up with an affinity to liking coleslaw, but I was always very picky about it. It was either REALLY GOOD, or not at all acceptable. Everyone’s opinion on what makes “really good” coleslaw seems to differ, but I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that this coleslaw will change whatever your opinion is of how the stringy, cabbage-y dish should taste. Forever. If this slaw doesn’t at least sort of tickle your taste buds, well… Color me shocked.
Any slaw is essentially comprised of a bunch of thinly cut or shredded vegetation, dressed in some sort of sauce. The choice of the vegetation and the base of the sauce are what really make a slaw into its final tasty creation. Personally, I’m a big fan of slaw with a crunch. If it feels mushy before I even chew it, well… To me that sort of sounds like baby food. Not particularly appetizing.
Most traditional coleslaw starts with cabbage. Though there are some variants that don’t use cabbage or lettuce at all, we’re staying traditional here (at least for now) and starting with cabbage. I used about 1/3 of a head and shredded it with a knife. This is fairly simple to do; just cut each wedge of the cabbage into thin strips with a large, sharp kitchen knife.
Next comes the crunchy bits! I used 2 carrots, half a large red onion, and a medium sized granny smith apple. (Yes, really, an apple. I swear, it makes it so delicious and makes all the difference in the world!) Each of these needs to be julienned to approximately equal sizes. A super easy way to do this is to use a mandolin to help you out:
The onion should end up being able to be pulled apart into fine enough strings after being sliced on the mandolin. For the apples and carrots, use the mandolin to make thin slices, and then use a kitchen knife to cut these slices into thin strips.
Just for fun, I also added in about 8 gherkin pickles (diced).
Toss the cabbage, pickles, and julienned carrots, apples, and onions into a large bowl and mix it up gently.
Set this aside and then make your dressing. I’m still staying somewhat traditional here and using a mayonnaise based sauce… I used 3/4 cup mayo, 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 2 tbsp dijon mustard, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, and salt and pepper to taste. Put everything in a small bowl and stir until smooth.
Pour this right overtop of your veggies and use tongs to toss it all together. Serve immediately, or keep refrigerated until it’s time to eat!
This is fabulous all by itself, of course, but stay tuned for an even more delicious way to enjoy it… 🙂
Not Your Momma’s Coleslaw
Yield: 6-8 servings
1/3 head cabbage
2 carrots, peeled and julienned
1 granny smith apple, cored and julienned
1/2 large red onion, peeled and julienned
8 Gherkin pickles, diced
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp dijon mustard
1/2 tsp garlic powder
Salt & Pepper, to taste
1) Combine cabbage, carrots, apples, onions, and pickles in a large bowl.
2) In a small bowl, stir together mayonnaise, vinegar, brown sugar, mustard, garlic powder, salt, and pepper until well blended.
3) Pour dressing over slaw and toss to combine. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve.