In the mood for “Cool” Slaw!

The Dutch called it koolsla.  (kool = cabbage and sla = salad)  We anglicised it to Cole slaw and that is just a bit of food trivia for today.   Here are three slaws that I think are a bit “cooler” than average.



Caesar Cole Slaw

This is a fresh twist on your basic Cole slaw from Bob and Melinda Blanchard published in their wonderful cookbook, Cook What You Love.
for the dressing:
1 cup Hellman’s mayonnaise
3/4 teaspoon anchovy paste
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
3 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
3/4 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
for the slaw:
1 1/2 pounds Chinese napa cabbage, cored and thinly sliced (8 cups)
1/2 pound red cabbage, cored and thinly sliced (2 cups)
1/2 pound jicama, peeled and cut into long thin strips
2 large carrots, shredded or grated
4 scallions, thinly sliced (green and white parts)
1/2 cup freshly shredded Parmesan cheese
In a small mixing bowl, whisk all of the dressing ingredients until well blended.  In a large bowl, toss together both cabbages, jicama, carrots, and scallions.  Add enough dressing to coat well.  Add the Parmesan and toss again.  Serves 6-8

French Carrot Salad

This simple, fresh salad is omnipresent in France.  You will find it in every Charcuterie (delicatessen) and Bistro but I rarely see it here.  It is such a nice side dish for a summer lunch or supper and of course, it would be wonderful to take to a picnic or potluck.
7 large grated carrots
1/3 cup coarsely chopped fresh parsley
4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
salt and pepper to taste
In a medium bowl, toss the grated carrots with the parsley.  In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, sugar, and mustard.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Add vinaigrette to carrots and toss well to lightly coat.  Taste and adjust seasonings.  Sometimes I add a bit more lemon juice or olive oil to tweak the flavor if necessary.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.  Serves 6

Chinese Coleslaw

I’ll  be honest with you, this salad was a lot of work… which is OK by me as I love to chop, mince, slice and dice.  It started out as a recipe from the chef and caterer Wendy Leon, published in the June issue of Food and Wine.   I simplified it considerably and it was still wonderful.  However,  next time, I plan on adding lots of shredded chicken (I’ll buy a roasted chicken at the market) and making it the whole meal.  The rice sticks will stay crispy so they can be fried ahead of time.  But don’t toss the vegetables with the dressing until right before serving because this slaw will wilt.
3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon sugar
vegetable oil for frying
1 1/2 ounces dried cellophane noodles
1/2 lemon
2 cups mixed field greens
1 1/2 cups finely shredded red cabbage
1 1/2 cup finely shredded green cabbage
1 large celery rib, cut into 2 inch julienned strips
1 small carrot, cut into 2 inch julienned strips
1 scallion, cut into 2 inch julienned strips
2 ounces jicama, peeled and cut into 2 inch julienned strips (1/2 cup)
1/3 seedless cucumber, peeled and cut into 2 inch julienned strips (1/2 cup)
1/4 cup snow peas, julienned lengthwise
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons thinly sliced basil leaves
In a small bowl, whisk the hoisin sauce with the vinegar, lime juice, sesame oil and sugar, stirring to dissolve the sugar.
In a large saucepan, heat 1 inch of vegetable oil the 350 degrees.  Break the noodles into 2 equal clusters.  Add one cluster to the hot oil; fry until the noodles puff up and whiten, about 5 seconds.  Using a slotted spoon, transfer the noodles to paper towels to drain.  repeat with the remaining cluster.
In a large bowl, toss the field greens with the red and green cabbages, celery, carrot, scallion, jicama, cucumber, snow peas, and cilantro.  Add the dressing and toss to coat.  Transfer the salad to a platter.  Top with the fried noodles, garnish with the basil and serve right away.  Serves 6

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