Slaw – your feeble attempt at one (or a quarter) of the five-a-day when going for fish and chips. A peculiar permutation (downhill slide, more like) of the old, honest Krautsalad – only where’s the fermentation? Why is it slathered in tonnes of cheap mayo?? The mysteries, as puzzling as the curio of mushy peas.
No mayo, that’s a start. And if mayo you must, give it just a lick of it. Fermentation is crucial – everyone now sings the praise of fermented foods and kimchi seems to rule the world, so take time, all of 10 minutes of it, and leave your cabbage salted until it wilts a bit and becomes, frankly, much more appetising, especially if you’re using a hammer horror – oops, a hammer head cabbage*.
Vinaigrette dressing would suffice very well, thank you, but I’m making a concession here to the chippie-goers and adding some white stuff – but yoghurt actually tastes and goes better with it than mayo.
The recipe, with slight modi- and simplifications is that of Tom Kerridge, from his ‘Best Ever Recipes’ book.
*standard winter white cabbage, as apparently known in Yorkshire. No, me neither. Blame the Weather Man, he’s from up there.
coleslawServings: 4Time: 40-50 minutes
- ½ fennel bulb
- ½ small green or white cabbage
- ¼ small red cabbage (optional)
- 1 large carrot
- 1 small red onion
- 2 tbsp. sea salt (sea salt flakes best)
- zest grated of ½ lemon
- 1 tsp mixed fennel and caraway seeds, toasted in a dry skillet and coarsely ground in a pestle and mortar
- 1 tsp chopped dill
- 1 tsp chopped parsley
- black pepper
- lemon juice
- 2-3 tbsp. natural full-fat yoghurt
- a drizzle of runny honey
Finely shred the cabbages and fennel, using a mandolin or a sharp knife. Coarsely grate or julienne the carrot, slice the onion very finely. Place everything in a large bowl, add the sea salt and mix in well – best rub the salt in with your hands. Leave for 20 minutes – it will wilt and soften.
Transfer the vegetables into a colander or a large sieve and rinse very well under cold running water, then leave them to drain. Spread them on at least a double layer of paper towels on a board or work surface and squeeze out the moisture.
Transfer to a clean bowl, add the lemon zest, the fennel and caraway seeds, herbs and season with black pepper and a drizzle of lemon juice. Stir in the yoghurt and honey and check for seasoning.
I’ve served it in a pastry case, just for fun – to make them, cut a 1cm wide strip out of a puff pastry sheet, join the edges to form a circle and seal well, brush with beaten egg if you like and bake for 10 minutes on a baking sheet in 220C/425F/gas 7.