Red Slaw

There’s been a small red cabbage mouldering in the fridge veg drawer for weeks and last night as I popped a Vacherin Mont d’Or in the oven (to join crusty oven chips to swipe through the cheese), it occurred to me that I could turn it into coleslaw with an extra high proportion of gherkin to go with this rich molten treat. It’s a joy to make, is coleslaw, if you have a good, sharp knife. It’s also surprisingly quick to make and despite including raw red cabbage and raw red onion, is surprisingly mellow but deliciously crunchy and perky. This particular recipe is for people like me who think they don’t like coleslaw. My recipe calls for celery, which I didn’t have, so upped the amount of carrot for crunch, with tomatoes and apple for sweetness and a different kind of juiciness. The mayonnaise that binds the salad gets extra verve with lemon juice and Dijon mustard. This feast of healthiness is great on its own but goes with everything, from pesto or anchovy bruschetta to cold cuts, but is perfect bbq or firepit background food. It keeps well and could be laced with strong grated Cheddar or tuna from a tin, turning it into perfect al desko food. Another good addition, which I plan for next time I make red slaw, is a finely chopped red chilli.

Serves 6 generously
Prep: 40 min

½ (half) red cabbage
2 carrots
2 celery sticks
1 large red onion
2 vine tomatoes
1 gherkin
1 lemon
1 apple, preferably Cox
3-5 tbsp mayonnaise
1 dsp Dijon mustard

Cut the dense core out of the cabbage, slice finely and then chop into small pieces. Scrape then grate the carrots on the large hole of a cheese grater. Trim, rinse and very finely slice the celery. Halve, peel and finely dice the onion. Core and chop the tomatoes. Squeeze half the lemon into a mixing bowl. Dice the gherkin in small pieces. Quarter, core, peel and slice the apple into the lemon. Toss then stir in the mustard and mayo. Add all the prepared ingredients and season generously with salt and pepper. Toss thoroughly, taste and adjust the seasoning with salt, pepper and lemon juice, adding more mayo if you think it needs it.