Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Mayonnaise-Free Cabbage Slaw: A Dish That Dates To The Earliest Settlers in the United States; Let's Hear It For The Dutch!

I've always appreciated a good Cole slaw when served as a small side dish in our local diner. At Golden's Deli on Staten Island, there is a self serve bar with pickles and the 'slaw'. Both are delicious in a tart sort of way but I suspect that they might be commercially made.

The word 'cole' is an old and rarely used English word for plants of the cabbage family. The Dutch word 'koosla' was translated into English in the late 18th century. Kool, Dutch for ‘cabbage’, became cole, but 'sla' was translated into 'slaugh' which isn't used anymore. But 'sla' or 'slaugh' meant salad. The earliest record of the word in America is from the 1790s.

I came a cross a recipe for cabbage slaw recently with a little different take. This recipe was billed as a 'sweet-sour' version with the sweet part being golden raisins. There was no mayonnaise involved, the sauce was a Dijon vinaigrette.

Sounded delicious to me and with a lot less calories too. We gave it a try recently and it was judged a smashing success by all who tasted it. The hardest thing about this recipe was locating the golden raisins in an unfamiliar supermarket ... but once found, the rest was pretty easy.

Cabbage or Cole slaw is perfect for the summer and makes a great accompaniment to barbecued anything!

Sweet-Sour Cabbage Slaw

1/4 cup white-wine vinegar
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard, preferably whole grain
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 small head napa cabbage (about 12 ounces), cored and shredded (6 cups)
1/2 cup red cabbage shredded
1/2 cup grated carrots
4 or 5 radishes, thinly sliced and cut into matchsticks
1/2 cup golden raisins
1 tablespoon thinly sliced fresh chives
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

  • Whisk together vinegar, mustard, and sugar. 
  • Toss together cabbage, radishes, golden raisins, and chives. 
  • Drizzle dressing over salad. 
  • Season with salt and pepper.

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