I love coleslaw.
It’s all crunchy and moreish and versatile and it goes with all the best meals in life- you know, the BBQs and Boxing Day Buffets and summer Sunday cold cut lunches.
Strictly speaking it should include cabbage and carrot in a creamyish sauce but you really can put your own stamp on it. I love versions with fennel, apple, beetroot, radish maybe even a pear if the mood takes me. Then so many choices of dress- mayo for convenience, crème fraiche for bite, yoghurt for the health conscious, cream for the indulgent, I love a dollop of horseradish in the mix too. The only thing that absolutely shouldn’t be involved in a coleslaw is a sad little plastic pot, with a mock cling film lid that shreds into a million bits when you try to peel it off to get at the sad little chips of carrot and thin vinegary sauce full of E numbers. Tesco, I’m talking to you.
I will bow to an M&S creamy or Sainsbury’s Taste The Difference once in a while, maybe even a Be Good To Yourself if I’m feeling saintly but it’s so easy (and so much nicer!) to make yourself at home, why add to the recycling with all that packaging?
Below is my staple coleslaw recipe. It’s cheap, it’s easy and it’s done in less than 10 minutes with readily available ingredients most of the year round. Parsnips will of course be sweeter in the late Autumn but I still make this well into spring and early summer with no bad results to date.
Serve it with your BBQ or a nice summer salad with gammon ham, or cold roast chicken, hell you can serve it with anything. Enjoy.
You will need:
About 1/3 of a head of white cabbage
2 medium sized carrots
French’s American Style Mustard
White wine vinegar
Salt & Pepper
First off very finely shred the cabbage. If you have a mandolin or some form of QVC super shredding/grating/julienne contraption great, otherwise a sharp knife and a steady hand will suffice. Remember to cut across the leaf to get long, thin strips, rather than little chunks. Top and tail your carrot and parsnip and grate, add to the cabbage.
The dressing is something of a personal preference, for the above quantities of veg I would use about four tablespoons of mayo to one of mustard. Up it for extra sauciness, cut down if you like a suggestion of dressing rather than a good lashing but keep to a 4 to 1 quantity. I have no mayo snobbery, full fat, low fat, hellmans, extra value, whatever you like but I would avoid the extra extra low fat ones as they don’t mix as well and tend to taste a bit eggy after a while if you don’t eat it immediately.
Now mix it all up until your veg is evenly coated then add about a teaspoon of vinegar. This gives a nice, subtle sharpness and will also help to stop the veg softening or going brown, particularly if it’s out in the garden as part of your BBQ spread.
Salt and black pepper to taste and you’re done. How easy was that?
There are too many variations to list, so standby for more like this in coming weeks.