Quick red cabbage coleslaw

So, just to get it out of the way, mayonnaise and I are not friends (I’m also not friends with pork).

I can see that it has its place – I’ll allow a good aioli for, say, patas bravas, or belgian chips, but it’s place is not, I repeat NOT (in my admittedly marginal opinion) in coleslaw.  I don’t think that I knew that it was a thing that ever went in coleslaw until I was about ten.

This is a half-arsed, super quick version of the coleslaw that my grandma Gwen used to make at christmas.  The proper version is one of my absolute favourite foods, combining that heady scent of childhood nostalgia with actually being an amazing recipe – it lives up to the memory.  I’ll post it closer to christmas.

We had this with tortilla (spanish omelette) and it was a seriously-there-is-nothing-in-the-fridge-except-half-a-cabbage meal.  I took a picture of our vegetable drawer to prove it:

all that was the vegetable drawer - half a red cabbage, one beetroot, artichoke that was being saved for the preparing artichokes post (only slightly wobbly), bag of highly suspicious salad leaves (been there far too long)

I will do a separate post about the tortilla.

Red cabbage coleslaw

for the salad:

1/8 Red cabbage
¼-½ onion
1 clove garlic

1-1½ TBS sugar

for the dressing:

1/3 cup/75-80ish mls vinegar – I used white wine vinegar
scant ¼ cup/50ish mls olive oil (maybe a little less)
½-1 tsp mustard – I used seeded mustard
shake of celery salt if you’ve got it, not essential
1 tsp salt

 using a large, sharp knife shred all the vegetables and put in a non-reactive bowl (this basically means don’t put it in a metal bowl).

finely shredded cabbage
finely sliced onion and garlic, large sharp knife

Put all the dressing ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to the boil over a low heat.

Meanwhile, sprinkle the sugar over the vegetables and rub it in with your hands for a minute or so, a bit like you do with the salt if you’re making sauerkraut.  This just makes the vegetables a little more permeable so the dressing acts more quickly to slightly pickle the vegetables.

pour the hot dressing over the vegetables, stir to combine then set aside.  The longer you leave this the better it will be but you can eat it as soon as it’s cooled down.

Feel free to add any spices you want to this – coriander, cumin and caraway are all classic cabbage spices, you could throw in some chilli or leave out the garlic – whatever you like.