Far from the anonymous, bland mess that is your average coleslaw, this slaw tastes as bright and vibrant as it looks. The recipe is based on one by the good people at Pitt Cue, who started out cooking from a smoker in a trailer and now run what’s probably my favourite restaurant in London.
There’s a lot of different ingredients in this slaw and it’s very easy to leave something out, either through forgetfulness or having run out of supplies. And it’s not going to make it a bad dish, but there’s a big difference between a slaw being genuinely impressive in it’s own right and it being just a nice side order. The capers and the cornichons, for example, give little pops of salty, briney flavour whenever you find one. The coriander seeds crunch explosively with a burst of floral perfume. The orange of the carrots and the green of the coriander leaves set off the colour of the purple cabbage.
The beating heart of this dish though is the red cabbage, apple and ginger combination. This slaw lives to go with pork, especially the pulled pork from my last blog post (another Pitt Cue inspired recipe).
Red and Green Slaw
- 1 red cabbage
- 2 apples (Granny Smith or similar)
- 1 thumb sized piece of ginger
- 1 medium carrot
- 12-16 cornichons
- 12-16 capers
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1-4 Green chillis (optional)
- Salt (Maldon or similar)
- 1 tsp coriander seeds
- Handful of coriander leaves to garnish
- Pickled radishes to garnish
- Mayonnaise (see recipe below)
Finely slice the cabbage on a mandolin. Toss generously with salt and leave for about an hour in a non-reactive bowl.
Julienne the apples, carrots and ginger. Dice the cornichons, capers, garlic and green chillis. Toss together with the salted red cabbage. Add a spoonful of mayonnaise and mix or toss gently to coat. Add more mayonnaise as necessary
Garnish with coriander leaves and pickled radishes.
- 1 egg yolk
- About 1 tsp egg white
- 2 tsp dijon mustard
- Dash of white wine vinegar or the juice of half a lemon
- About 200ml sunflower oil
In a bowl, beat together the egg yolk, egg white, mustard and vinegar/lemon juice. Very slowly add the oil, a few drops at a time, while whisking constantly. You can also do this in a food processor using the blade or paddle. As it starts to thicken, you can add the oil a little more quickly. Keep adding oil until it reaches the soft peak stage.
Tips for Geeks
Mayonnaise is an emulsion of oil and egg yolk. I add a little bit of egg white because I find it much more reliable and less likely to split. As you beat more and more of the oil in, the mayonnaise will thicken (if you’ve never done this before you won’t quite believe that it will work, but it does). The key is adding the oil slowly. If you add too much oil at once, it will split and you’ll see it lose its homogenous quality. in which case start with a new egg yolk and slowly add the split batch in again.
Salting the cabbage for an hour has an effect on the texture (tenderises it a little) and the flavour (makes it slightly less bitter). If you’re in a rush, you can skip the waiting and the slaw will still taste great.