I never really thought much of cabbage, that is until I figured out a way to make it less like cardboard and more a smorgasbord of flavor. I was smoking and barbecuing plenty last summer and needed some easy side dishes that could satisfy many on the cheap. I give you, zippy coleslaw! Like any food item that is a bargain—thyroid glands, gizzards, onions, etc—this item needs care in preparation for its full flavor potential to be unleashed.
- 1 head of purple cabbage
- 1 head of green cabbage
- 1/4 cup of mayo
- 2 lemons
- salt and pepper to taste
- crushed nuts (pecan, walnuts, pumpkin seed, etc)
- heat (i.e. hot sauce of choice), optional
- Shred both heads of cabbage. The method I use in doing so is: 1) cut from the top of the cabbage head down to the stem, halving the two hemispheres; 2) lay one half of cabbage head cut side down, this allows a stable platform in which to shred; 3) cut thinly, crosswise from stem, from top to tip; 4) throw all newly cut cabbage in a quick wash and drain for about 10–15 minutes to get excessive water off. Must be quite dry so that you don’t suffer from soggy ‘slaw bottom.
- Once you get the shredded cabbage relatively dry (drip dry or if you have a salad tosser, please spin in batches) you may move on to salting the cabbage in order to extract even more moisture. I would leave this batch in a large colander nested within a larger bowl in order to catch aforementioned moisture expenditure. Leave for 7 minutes, then shake off excess water.
- Switch drained slaw into a large mixing bowl with plenty of room to stir. You will add the juice of both lemons, mayo, and any heat you wish to add (paprika also works here). I strongly suggest to leave nuts off until you are ready to serve, as the moisture can also make nuts soggy, which insures the desired crunch and texture freshly crushed nuts can add to this side.