Okay, okay, so I don’t know for a fact that it was THIS cabbage, this red cabbage by the way, sitting on my counter, that saved humanity, but cabbage has kept people free of scurvy and other nasty diseases through long winters for hundreds, perhaps thousands of years.
Cabbage is easy to ferment, it stays relatively fresh for a long time and the outer leaves act as a wrapping that keeps the inside fresh longer. I’ve read that you can bury cabbage in the ground for several months, dig it up, remove the outer leaves and the inside is edible. I haven’t tried this but it certainly appeals to my occasional apocalyptic imaginings.
So whether it’s sauerkraut, kim chee, fried rice, or good ole cole slaw, cabbage continues to keep humans healthy!
I’ve always loved cole slaw, but a lower fat version I liked remained elusive. I was pleased to discover this recipe in the USA Weekend magazine from the Sunday paper. Go figure.
The first time I made it exactly as written… I know, I know, I was having an unusually compliant day.
The second time I just didn’t have everything so I’ll give you my adaptations, but I found the result to be delightfully crispy and refreshing both ways.
Colorful Coleslaw USA Weekend, May 25-27, 2012 – Ellie Krieger
3 Tbsp. grainy mustard (2nd time I used 1 Tbsp seeded, ran out and added 1 more Tbsp dijon)
2 Tbsp. honey
2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
2 Tbsp. cider vinegar
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt, plus more to taste
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
1/4 large head red cabbage (I used less than this and added shredded broccoli stem – about 3 medium, peeled stalks)
2 lge carrots, shredded
1 medium fennel bulb, halved, cored and thinly sliced
1 small red onion, thinly sliced (I left out completely 2nd time)
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves (I left out entirely and meant to add parsley… but I forgot)
1 Tbsp. poppy seeds
Whisk together wet ingredients
Shred veggies in a food processor if you have one, or chop them by hand to small size.
Toss well to combine.
Very tasty indeed. So next time you eat cabbage be aware what this humble and sometimes maligned vegetable has done for our ancestors, and continues to do for us. Cabbage rocks!