winter veg slaw
Whenever I’m called upon to feed a crowd my thoughts turn to slaw. Truth be told, my thoughts turn to slaw — with its delightful crispy, crunchy freshness — far more frequently than any social engagements require, but the point here is that slaw is the perfect thing to take along to a picnic or a potluck or any sort of food-related festivity. It’s easy, inexpensive, and it can be made from whatever vegetables happen to be in season. Although it’s a great do-ahead dish because the longer it sits (within reason) the more the flavors blend, it can just as easily be thrown together at the last minute for an impromptu gathering without sacrificing a great deal of yumminess. Plus slaw looks pretty, tastes fabulous, and is a hell of a lot better for you than pigs in a blanket. In fact, I whipped some up earlier in anticipation of Academy Awards revelry.
But this isn’t about tonight’s red carpet slaw. This is about the bridal shower slaw I made two weeks ago. Now in case you’re thinking slaw isn’t exactly bridal shower fare, ask yourself if you’ve ever known a bride-to-be who wasn’t carefully monitoring her caloric intake so she’d be at her skinniest on the big day. Right. The last thing you want to do is throw a party with a bunch of food the poor girl can’t even eat. Hence the slaw. Also I just really like slaw, and this particular slaw is particularly good — the crispy crunchiness of shredded fennel, carrots, cabbage, and radishes mingling with the brightness of fresh herbs and the tanginess of yogurt in what is essentially freshness in a bowl.
And, hey, freshness is hard to come by in February; take it where you can get it.
Winter Veg Slaw
barely adapted from Jamie Oliver’s (swoon) Jamie at Home
(serves 6 says Jamie but I served 12 with some leftover)
1 bulb of fennel
1 bunch of radishes (about 8)
14 oz. red and white cabbage
1/3 c. chopped red onion
1 small shallot, minced
juice of 1 lemon
2 T. olive oil
1 c. chopped fresh herbs (use equal amounts mint, dill, fennel, and parsley)
1 c. plain yogurt (I used a 6 oz. container and made up the difference in buttermilk)
2 T. whole grain mustard
salt and pepper
1) Shred the carrots, fennel and radishes using a mandoline or food processor. Slice the cabbage thinly with the mandoline or a serrated knife. Toss together, along with the onion and shallots, in a large bowl.
2) Whisk together half the lemon juice, the olive oil, herbs, yogurt, and mustard. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
3) Pour the dressing over the vegetables and stir until well-coated. Taste and adjust seasonings. Squeeze the remaining lemon juice over the slaw just before serving.