Recipies · Salads

Don’t fear cabbage, make cole slaw!

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.

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INGREDIENTS

  • 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

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Mix everything except the cabbage in the bottom of a large mixing bowl.

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I like to use dried currants because they have just the right amount of sweet-per-bite. If you don’t have them, just use raisins! The purple ones will look better, but the goldens are usually a little plumper…

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.

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I’ve used all the fancy-schmancy ones, but this is my favorite slicing mandolin. Hand-held with no extra blades, super easy clean up.
Your helpers can put the cabbage in the bowl or help mix it up!
Your helpers can put the cabbage in the bowl or help mix it up!

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!

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