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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Non-creamy Cole Slaw


Over the weekend I mentioned my latest trip to the local farmers' market, including reference to a 5 pound half cabbage. Well, that was an estimate; when I pulled out the scale to get the real weight, that half weighed in at a whopping 6 pounds, 14 ounces--really glad I didn't buy the whole head!

 With this much cabbage, I will have plenty of cole slaw and stir fry base for a few weeks. Cabbage is a wonderful vegetable for storing, with a refrigerated shelf life that can almost extend into months. For now, however, I have plans that will use this pretty quickly, starting with a vinaigrette style cole slaw that can be made in large quantities for a week of cook-outs, hamburger lunches, fish fries, etc.

The original recipe (with a lot more sugar!) came from a Midwestern church cookbook my mother had received from a neighbor many years ago. I spent a few weeks with Mom as she recovered from foot surgery and much of the time was spent going through her collection and copying likelyy sounding recipes. Many of those weathered cards are still a core of my own collection 40 years later.

Overnight Cole Slaw

1 large head cabbage (I have found that this amount of dressing works for 8 to 10 cups of shredded or grated cabbage)
1 Bermuda or other sweet onion
1 large green bell pepper
2/3 c sugar
Dressing:
1 c cider or wine vinegar
2 T sugar
1 t celery or dill seed (opt)
2/3 c canola oil
1 T salt
1 t dry mustard
1 to 2 sprigs of fresh dill, chopped (opt)

1.  Shred or grate cabbage and onion, either with a knife or using a food processor. Chop the pepper into small cubes.
2.  Put the vegetables in a bowl and cover with the 2/3 cup sugar. Set aside while making the dressing.
3.  Combine all dressing ingredients (except fresh dill if used) in a small saucepan. Stir well and bring to a boil. While still very hot, pour over the cabbage mixture. Stir well. Mix in the fresh dill if being used.
4.  Cover and refrigerate for several hours or over night.

This recipe is easily cut in half.

NOTES:
Though red bell peppers can provide a lovely color contrast,  they may "bleed" into the dressing, leaving the salad quite unattractive. If you want to use red peppers here,  plan to stir them in right before serving.

And, yes, red cabbage definitely will "bleed" and change the color of the entire salad, so skip this recipe for red cabbage--unless you use only red cabbage. I've never tried that so can't tell you what the results would be for an all red slaw.

On a frugal note:  No matter how much cabbage you use in making this, there will invariably be a lot of dressing left in the bottom of the bowl. This can actually be a good thing, as this flavored "vinaigrette" can become a light dressing for greens from the garden, for cucumbers, etc.



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