I got a great deal on a head of old cabbage the other day. There are only two things I think of when I see a head of cabbage… fish tacos and cole slaw. I actually hated cabbage as a kid, picking it out of anything containing it. But one summer I grew cabbage for my clients. It was a great deal more prolific than I expected and it all matured at exactly the same time. My clients instantly grew tired of the spring/winter wonder and I was left with about a dozen perfect, beautiful heads in my fridge. I faced my fear of the stinky, gnarled, Chinese food fall-back and looked up a few recipes. I found I don’t care for it cooked, but when prepared raw, it is crisp, sweet, fresh, and very versatile!
I remembered my grandmother making a very simple cole slaw with steamed cabbage and pineapple when I was farming at their place after college. I could taste it in my mind, but when I found her recipe, it just didn’t sound very appetizing. My grandmother, while a lovely woman with a generous heart, wasn’t the most adventurous cook. It took a few batches to get it right, but I found a great winter staple for our family. Here’s an updated of my grandmother’s old cole slaw recipe for your eating pleasure.
- 6 cups shredded (or chopped) cabbage, half a large head
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup apple cider (or white wine) vinegar
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup dried currants (or raisins)
- 1 8 oz can of crushed pineapple (with juice)
- 1 Tbsp celery seed
Mix everything except the cabbage in the bottom of a large mixing bowl.
Remove the core, then shred or chop the cabbage. I use a cheap-o, hand-held mandolin, but you can just slice it with a large knife. I find it works a little better with a very thin slice. Admittedly, I have cut myself more on this little number than any other tool in my kitchen, but it really makes a uniform cut.
Add the cabbage to your dressing and mix it all up! All done. You can eat it fresh and it is sweet, crunchy with just a hint of tang. It will keep in the fridge for about a week. Serve it with hot dogs, fish & chips, or on top of fish tacos. NOTE: Make an effort to get fresh celery seed for this recipe. It’s the only recipe I use it for, so I don’t buy large amounts, but the fresh, intense celery pop when you bite into one of these tiny seeds is unexpected and kind of addictive!