Now this is some good coleslaw. Why don't I make this more often? Recently, I was in California visiting my sister and my mom. My mom had just had knee replacement surgery and I went to help with her initial recovery. One day for lunch my sister and I threw together a slaw with leftover cabbage from a great veggie soup I had made. We included all sorts of veggies and it was a hit. I knew I had a cabbage in the fridge back home and I started thinking about what slaw I'd make when I got home.
I love cabbage. I love raw veggies. What I don't like is classic coleslaw drenched in mayo. And what's with coleslaw that automatically comes with some sandwiches when your choices are limited? In the San Francisco airport I grabbed a roasted vegetable sandwich with feta. Yum. It came with either a side of slaw or potato salad. I knew either choice would disappoint. Too much mayo, too much salt, no recognizable part of a cabbage or a potato. Well, I got the slaw and it was very watery. And it had that deli coleslaw taste that I just don't like. Does that flavor come in a bottle that delis everywhere purchase?
There's no reason to stick to the old slaw formulas when there are endless options for dressing. This time I gave the slaw some Asian flavors - sesame, ginger, and garlic. A jalapeno pepper for heat. Golden raisins for sweetness. Slivered almonds for extra crunch.
I used the following ingredients:
about 5 cups of sliced cabbage
two carrots, grated
a cup of sliced almonds
a half of a cup of golden raisins
about a half of a cup of celery, sliced thinly
a jalapeno pepper, mostly seeded and sliced
a half of a cup of chopped fresh cilantro
two teaspoons of toasted sesame oil
about a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
4 garlic cloves, smashed or chopped
1 sq. inch of fresh ginger, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
I'm not sure how much olive oil I used. Maybe a quarter of a cup. Ultimately, I did not use all of the oil/garlic/ginger mix. I added it to taste, like I did with the cider vinegar. To mellow the garlic and the ginger, I simmered them very slowly in the olive oil. I do this often to garlic in order to bring out the sweetness and cook it enough to take the sting out of it. It's a method I use for pasta dishes or if I want to add garlic and oil to bread or a spread/dip. In a fair amount of olive oil, simmer the chopped garlic and ginger every so gently on the lowest heat setting. In the meantime, chopped your ingredients. And don't worry about measuring the oil, use as much as you need for the slaw and then save the remainder. Hey, garlic/ginger oil is never a bad thing to have on hand, right? How good will that be on tonight's salad with dinner?
So take all of these ingredients and toss them well so everything is coated to your liking. Taste and re-season, if needed. That's how I added the vinegar. I almost didn't add it. It was delicious without it but I knew that a splash of something acidic (lime, lemon, vinegar) would brighten the finished slaw. I could eat the whole bowl. But I didn't. Not a good idea to eat enough slaw for six people, even if you live alone - which I don't.