Sunday, July 26, 2009

Spicy 'Slaw

I recently attended a potluck barbeque for a good friend's birthday celebration. She was hosting the soiree at her own cute cottage house and wanted everyone to bring a dish so that she wouldn't have to spend the entire day in the kitchen. No blame there.

Potlucks can be my favorite types of parties to attend (depending on the guest list and their ideas about what food is). There was zero hesitation on my part when deciding on the fare I would provide. For some unknown reason, I had been craving coleslaw for weeks. As soon as spring arrived, there seemed to be recipes abounding for this crunchy cabbage salad. Every photo I saw in a food mag or recipe website turned on the sprinkler in my mouth and made my stomach grumble. By the charms of serendipity, I happened to have received a head of cabbage in my CSA share that very same week. It waited patiently in my crisper to be sliced, dressed and tossed into pure satisfaction.

The recipe I used for the party included not only cabbage but also a yellow summer squash grated into the mix. One of the pleasing things about coleslaw, besides the effortlessness of its preparation, is the opportunity for veggie diversification. It's easy to experiment with it. Below is the recipe that I used to create the 'slaw pictured above.

Spicy 'Slaw (Vegan!)
8-10 servings

1 medium head cabbage, thinly sliced
half of 1 large red bell pepper, thinly sliced
2 medium carrots, grated
4 T. vegan mayo (or regular mayo)
2 T. Dijon mustard
1 T. fresh lime juice
2 tsp. agave nectar (or 1 T. sugar)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

Toss the cabbage and other veggies together in a large mixing bowl. In a small bowl, whisk the mayo, mustard, lime juice, agave, salt and cayenne until combined. I taste the dressing at this point and see if I want it saltier or spicier, and I usually end up adding a little more cayenne (I like the heat!). Pour the dressing over the veggies and toss until they are completely coated. Cover and place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, but preferably 1 hour (or overnight). Serve and enjoy!

This recipe can easily be doubled, tripled, etc. for your big bashes this summer.


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