I’ve gotten to the point in my life that I’ve begun to notice my tastes have changed. It’s not so much that I prefer some tastes over others, but more that I crave things I never have before, and look less forward to other tastes I’ve always loved.
Let’s talk cabbage, shall we?
My mother makes a mean cole slaw: chopped green cabbage, mayonnaise, a few other ingredients I’m not too sure of, and pickle juice. There always seemed to be cole slaw at picnics and parties in the summer and I never understood completely why people enjoyed it. It was nearly colorless and somewhat soupy. But the pickle juice saved it for me, so if I happened upon a cole slaw that didn’t have pickle juice, then forget about it. None of that cloyingly sweet stuff for me. Definitely nothing with Miracle Whip. Goodness. No, it was the slight tartness I was attracted to.
Now? Well, I’m all about that tartness. I love raw cabbage. I love the crunch. I love the not sweet, but slightly briney quality of a very good slaw — one you’d want to heap onto a plate of ribs, or a knockwurst.
Serve me up.
1/2 head red cabbage, shredded
1 lg. carrot, peeled and grated
1/2 lg. red onion, sliced thinly
1 lg. jalapeno, minced
1 Bay leaf
1 c. red wine vinegar
1 c. extra virgin olive oil
1/4 c. fresh lime juice
1/4 c. cilantro, chopped
5 T. piloncillo, grated
2 tsp. orange zest
1/8 tsp. ground alspice
1 /2 tsp. cumin
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground pepper
- Drop the shredded cabbage in a pot of boiling salted water to blanch, about 1 minute. Drain into a colander and run cold water over it, then set aside to cool.
- Once cooled, place in a salad bowl and toss with carrot, onion, jalapeno, and bay.
- In a measuring cup, whisk vinegar, oil, lime juice, cilantro, piloncillo, orange zest, allspice, salt and ground pepper.
- Pour over the cabbage mixture and toss, then allow to sit at least 20 minutes before serving.
- This recipe was adapted from one appearing in the June 2009 issue of Gourmet, “Guatemalan Red-Cabbage Relish.” It’s traditionally enjoyed with tamales and enchiladas or beef.
- Very easy to make, and possibly addicting. Make sure you keep it within arm’s reach so you can pop a pinch now and then into your mouth. The flavor is wonderful, the texture perfectly crunchy, and it’s beautiful!
- If you’re someone used to the idea of pickle relish — this is not as sweet. If you’re someone used to creamy coleslaw (packed with fat calories…) this is oh so healthy!
- If you can’t find piloncillo or don’t want to mess around with trying to grate one of those little cones which are seriously hard as rocks, then use brown sugar.
- If you don’t like the idea of the jalapeno, then a few shakes of dried red pepper flakes would be nice.
- I made this to sit along side some grilled ribs and chimichurri, but it was most fabulous stuffed in a knockwurst with some cheese and mustard the next night.
- Keep it in a zip lock bag in the fridge for days…