Coleslaw: the family of salads we always keep forgetting during summer.
During the hot days of summer we love a salad as major part of our meal. It cools down, is easy to make and versatile depending on your dressing and added elements. Still after a week of summer (lettuce family) salads become too standard and we long for a change of pace.
Coleslaw offers a great opportunity to switch it up and even though it needs a bit more time to set, the amount of work is only a tiny bit more.
This recipe uses a small amount of mayonnaise as a dressing and a lot of different spices to create not only that complex taste but also an almost overwhelming smell. The softened but still crisp and chewy cabbage and onion deliver a base on which the fennel and peppery taste can easily build. The soft acidity from the vinegar balance the fatty taste which in turn balances the sharp tones of the mustard and pepper.
The only thing really missing in this dish when you make it is a solid crunch for the teeth to work on. With all the dressing and setting, the dish can often become to soft and silken. Adding a handful of nuts will not only add that mouth feel but also a lovely nutty tone the dish does not have yet.
½ White Cabbage 2 tbsp. Sugar (optional) 2 White Onions 2 tsp. Salt 1 tsp. Coriander seed 1 tsp. Fennel seed 1 tsp. Black Peppercorns 1 tsp. Szechuan Peppercorns (optional) 120 gr Mayonnaise 1 tsp. Soft Mustard Pinch of Pepper Pinch of Sea Salt 2 tbsp. Apple Cider Vinegar 1 red Bell Pepper 100 gr. Cashew Nuts
Slice the Cabbage into thin strips. The thinner you can get the strips the less chunky the salad will be. Throw in a sieve and add the Sugar.
Half the Onions and slice them. Add this to the Cabbage and add the Salt. Give the sieve a good toss and set in the sink.
Heat up the Coriander seeds, Fennel seeds, Peppercorns in a dry frying pan. You should really smell the heat releasing the flavours. When the seeds start popping turn of the heat and set aside.
Put the Mayonnaise, Mustard, a pinch of ground Pepper, some Sea Salt and the Apple Cider Vinegar together in a bowl or jar. Mix thoroughly to a thick dressing and set aside.
Take the seeds out of the Bell Pepper, and slice the rest in similar slices to the Cabbage and Onion.
Press the liquid out of the Cabbage and Onion. Transfer the mix to a large bowl.
Crush the heated seeds in a mortar and make sure it is almost dust. And add in the large bowl.
Pour the dressing in the bowl and add the Bell Pepper. Mix so everything is covered in dressing and seed dust.
Set to rest in the fridge for at least an hour. Add the Cashews just before eating and enjoy.