Karen Barnaby: 3 Easy Coleslaw Recipes That Are Perfect For Summer

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With barbecue season approaching and potlucks on the horizon, you can turn the crowds on with your coleslaw magic.

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Do you have a list of small and unimportant things that drive you crazy? Me too. My list is to slide the garbage bag into the can and not adjust it, not to stuff the dirty laundry all the way into the bin, and coleslaw soup.

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Coleslaw soup is created when the salt in the dressing draws water from the cabbage, dilutes the flavor of the slaw and turns it into soup. What may have started out as a deliciously spiced coleslaw, starts to lose its zing after a few hours and gets smoother and softer as it stands.

It doesn’t have to be that way.

Coleslaw is in a class of its own. It is a salad, a seasoning and can also be the basis for a meal. One of my favorite quick meals is a slaw with Thai seasonings – fish sauce, mint, coriander, lime juice, green onions and chilies – mixed with leftover beef, chicken or pork.

Where there is cabbage, there is lettuce. In Sweden, a spicy vinaigrette version known as pizzasallad is served with pizza. Curtido is a popular Central American condiment – part slaw and part pickle that you find on restaurant tables to use as you wish on your pupusas and other dishes. Queensland, Australia, has cheese slaw, a creamy slaw with cheddar cheese that is popular with grilled chicken.

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Soupy coleslaw is easily corrected by salting the cabbage to extract the water and then dressing. It softens the cabbage, removes any harsh flavors and makes it juicy yet crunchy.

With barbecue season approaching and potlucks on the horizon, you can turn the crowds on with your coleslaw magic.

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Basic preparation

Cut the cabbage into four wedges and remove the core from each wedge. To make it easier to cut the cabbage by hand, separate the inner part of the leaves from the outer part. Place the outer section, curved side up, on a cutting board and tap lightly to flatten it. By cutting the cabbage at an angle instead of straight, you will get pieces of equal length. The inner part is small, manageable and easy to cut.

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If you’re using a mandolin, you don’t need to separate the cabbage.

Add 1-1/2 teaspoons (7.5 ml) of table salt to each pound of chopped cabbage. Massage the salt into the cabbage and let it sit for half an hour. Rinse well and drain. Taste a piece to determine if it is at an acceptable salt level for you. Keep rinsing if it’s salty, or squeeze the water out with your hands if it’s right. The drier it is, the better. Continue with the recipe.

Taste the slaw before serving and make any flavor adjustments you feel you need.

Green Goodness Slaw

This TikTok viral salad from Baked By Melissa has spawned many variations and many people enjoy it as a “dip” with tortilla chips. This is my take on it. If you are allergic to nuts, you can substitute 2 tbsp (30 ml) of tahini.

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1 lb (500 g) green cabbage, about 6 cups (1,500 l) after chopping

1/2 medium English cucumber

2 thinly sliced ​​green onions

4 tablespoons (60 ml) lime juice

4 tablespoons (60 ml) extra virgin olive oil

1 cup (250 ml) fresh basil leaves, packed

1 cup (250 ml) fresh spinach leaves, packed

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1/4 cup (60 ml) raw cashews or almonds

1/4 cup (60 ml) nutritional yeast

1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) salt

1 ripe avocado, peeled and cut into slices or cubes

Finely chop the cabbage into 0.6 cm to 1/8 inch pieces and prepare them according to the preparation principles above.

Cut the cucumber in half lengthwise and remove the seeds. Cut into 1/8 to 1/4 inch (0.6 cm) pieces and place in a bowl. Add 1/4 teaspoon (1 ml) of salt and mix well. Let rest for half an hour with the cabbage. Drain the cucumber well and squeeze out the water. Do not rinse. Combine with the prepared cabbage and green onions.

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Place the lime juice, olive oil, basil, spinach, garlic, cashews, yeast and salt in a blender. Blend until smooth and add to the cabbage mixture. Mix well and correct the salt. Garnish with the avocado before serving.

Makes 4-6 servings.

Spicy Honey Mustard Slaw

This chunky style slaw is delicious with burgers, hot dogs, pulled pork and spare ribs.

1 lb (500 g) green cabbage, about 8 cups (2 L) after slicing

1/2 cup (125 ml) coarsely grated carrots

1/4 cup (60 ml) mayonnaise

2 tablespoons (30 ml) Dijon mustard

1 tbsp (15 ml) coarse grain mustard

1 tbsp (15 ml) honey, or more to taste

1/4 teaspoon (1 ml) Tabasco sauce, or more or less to taste

1/4 teaspoon (1 ml) caraway or celery seeds, if desired

salt to taste

Cut the cabbage into 0.6 cm (1/4 inch) strips and prepare them as described above.

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Mix mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, grain mustard, honey, Tabasco and optional caraway seeds in a large bowl. Add the prepared cabbage and carrots. Mix well and correct the salt. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour.

Makes 4-6 servings.

Lebanese style cabbage salad

Tart and fragrant with mint, this pairs well with any easily prepared egg white. You can add a dash of feta if you like.

1 lb (500 g) green cabbage, about 8 cups (2 L) after slicing

1 medium tomato, halved and thinly sliced

2 green onions, thinly sliced

2 tbsp (30 ml) extra virgin olive oil

2 tbsp (30 ml) lemon juice

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

2 radishes, thinly sliced

1/4 cup (60 ml) chopped fresh parsley

1/4 cup (60 ml) chopped fresh mint

salt to taste

Cut the cabbage into 1/8-inch strips and prepare them according to the preparation principles above.

Place the olive oil, lemon juice and garlic in a large bowl. Add the prepared cabbage, tomato, radish, parsley and mint. Mix well and correct the salt. Serve immediately or put in the fridge.

Makes 4-6 servings.

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