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Gravenstein Apple Cider Vinegar Coleslaw

6/22/2020
Author: Caitlin J. Ramsey
Based on: Vinegar-Based Coleslaw Dressing by Chef Billy Parisi, billyparisi.com


This is the time of year that I'm just starting to get sweet, crunchy heads of green cabbage at my local farmers market. As the weather becomes warmer, I also look for no-cook dishes to serve alongside grilled meats. Coleslaws are my go-to side dish to utilize these green beauties. This recipe is based on the basic recipe for vinegar coleslaw dressing by chef Billy Parisi, published at billyparisi.com.

I remember watching Julia Child's The French Chef on television as a girl, where she said that for salad dressings, it was important to choose the best quality vinegars and oils available. And that she could not find any in America that she would consider using. I believe times have changed enough that it is possible to find very good domestically produced vinegars from specialty retailers, though I have occasionally fermented and distilled my own.

While it is easy to take a simple vinegar coleslaw for granted, and reach for the big bottle of cider vinegar you keep on hand for canning. However, a well-chosen, excellent quality vinegar truly elevates this simple salad to a deliciously tart-sweet snack to enjoy in it's own right, or surprise and delight guests at your next cook out.

For this recipe, I like to use Katz Gravenstein Apple Cider Vinegar (https://store.katzfarm.com/katz-gravenstein-apple-cider-vinegar-p-138.html), which has both complexity and sweetness balanced by a crisp, smooth acidity.

I use California produced exta-virgin olive oil that I buy at my local farmers market, from Gardner Groves Family Farms, as well as their honey produced locally in Lewisburg, TN.
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Ingredients
1 medium head green cabbage, cored and very finely chopped
3 medium carrots, peeled and shredded or cut into small matchsticks
1 tablespoon local honey
1 tablespoon grainy mustard, such as Dijon
4 tablespoons Katz Gravenstein Apple Cider vinegar
4 tablespoons excellent quality extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp fine sea salt
1 tsp celery seed, or to taste

Optionally, use a blend of red and green cabbage. Onions, scallions, cilantro, kale, jicama, spicy peppers, and sliced bell peppers make excellent additions.

Directions
1. Prepare the carrots, cabbage and onions if using. Cut head of cabbage into quarter sections lengthwise, and and remove the stem. Using a chefs knife or mandolin, slice across the quarters as finely as possible to get thin shreds of cabbage.

Tip: the food processor fine shredding blade is a quick way to shred carrots and slice slaw, if you happen to have this appliance. If you do not, or simply don't wish to use it for this application, a hand held juliene tool, similar to a peeler, is a quick way to make matchsticks from carrots and is easy to clean.

2. For the dressing, combine the honey, vinegar, salt, and mustard. Whisk to blend. Continue to whisk while drizzling in the oil in a fine stream.

Dressing and chopped vegetables may be prepared ahead and stored separately for weekly food prep, or if you prefer a crispier slaw. Just remember to shake up the dressing to re-incorporate the oil before combining with the salad.

3. Drizzle dressing over slaw and mix to coat. Add celery seeds to taste and mix until distributed evenly throughout the slaw. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. I like to add an extra dash or two of cider vinegar to bring this flavor forward.

Serve immediately for a crispier slaw. Allow to sit 20 minutes up to a few hours for a juicier texture.

Serves 6-8. Enjoy with grilled meats such as burgers, salmon, pork chops, or chicken. Enjoy on its own as a crunchy, satisfying snack.
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