I consider myself a good eater, that is I like a wide variety of foods and I am willing to try almost anything. But I have standards (which my husband calls being a party pooper) and if I can help it, I don’t eat foods that don’t do me any good or don’t seem fresh and vital. You can imagine what some of these things are, but one food that I never choose is deli coleslaw. Does anyone eat it or does it always end up in the garbage? Traditional coleslaw always seems so tired to me, overdressed with mayonnaise and soggy. And I always have the feeling it was made a way long time ago. But it’s such a shame, because the foundation of colelsaw is something actually quite good for you — cabbage. So full of Vitamin C, fiber and antioxidants, plus it’s cheap. I decided it was high time to revisit coleslaw and give it a makeover.
All I’m looking for is a crunchy, fresh, tangy side dish that will be perfect with all the grilled yummies that are served in the summer. We eat lots of Mexican or Tex-Mex-type food around here, as well as simply prepared fish. Cilantro and lime are the natural flavors that first came to mind. Because cabbage is available all year long in California, I make this slaw all the time. I just prepared it the other day for fish tacos, but very often I serve it alongside fajitas or grilled salmon. My daughters make their own crazy taco combination with black beans, this slaw and feta. I generally use just green cabbage for this slaw, but I happened to have a some purple cabbage in the fridge and in my book, the more color the better, especially purple which is a color we don’t find too much in nature.
Since I know Mr. Picky will eat this slaw with tacos or grilled fish, I’ll be making a batch this weekend when he returns home from camp. We miss him desperately and I know he will need some good nutrition if his letter home is any indication of what he’s been feeding himself. Who you callin’ “party pooper”?
adapted from several sources
serves 4-6 as a side dish
½ medium-large green cabbage or purple cabbage or a combination
1 large carrot, grated
3 scallions, white and light green parts, thinly sliced
1 jalapeno chile, seeded* and finely diced (optional, especially if you don’t like heat)
¾ – 1 cup cilantro leaves and tender stems, chopped
3 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
3 Tablespoons, unrefined, cold pressed extra-virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon fine grain sea salt
- Core the cabbage and slice very thinly. I used a mandoline, but a sharp knife works perfectly well. Place in a large bowl with the grated carrot, scallions, jalapeno and cilantro. Toss to combine.
- Add the lime juice, olive oil and salt to the cabbage mixture and combine well. Taste for seasoning.
*Leave the seeds if you like it hotter.