This post is by Full Circle’s resident Farm Foodie – Debra Dubief
Coleslaw is one of those things that for whatever reason making it from scratch always kind of baffled me. I would try a recipe and it would be okay, so I’d save it. Then I’d try another recipe that I liked a lot and would save that as well. But I never made any of the slaws enough to remember exactly the combination I liked so inevitably would thumb through my files, decide none sounded right, went back to my search and vowed to take better notes next time. This cycle finally came to a screeching halt when I discovered a recipe on Smitten Kitchen that included two of my favorite salty, pickled things: cornichons and capers, plus sherry vinegar. I immediately knew this was the slaw for my family.
Not only do our kids love cornichons (those tiny, sour French style pickles), but their friends do as well. In fact, whenever we crack open a new jar its contents rapidly disappear so I try to always keep a jar hidden away for when I want to do something like make this wonderful slaw. And with Memorial Day weekend coming up there’s bound to be a need for a heaping bowl of this tangy, barbecue-friendly coleslaw. Cornichons and capers gives this slaw a flavor reminiscent of tartar sauce, something our kids also love, which makes it easy to get them to gobble up piles of fresh cabbage. Easy, delicious, kid-friendly and picnic-perfect, now that’s my kind of slaw!
Not only is this tangy dressing a perfect complement to crisp slivers of fresh cabbage, but it also makes a great tartar sauce if you sub chopped red onions for the shallots and omit the vinegar. The slaw is also fantastic in fish tacos.
1/4 cup finely minced shallot
5 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1/4 cup roughly chopped capers
1/4 cup chopped cornichons, plus 2 tablespoons of the juice
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 cups mayonnaise
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
8 cups julienned Savoy or green cabbage (or a combination of red and green cabbage for a colorful variation)
Toss shallots with vinegar and let sit for 20 minutes to mellow their sharpness.
Mix everything but the cabbage in a small bowl and after 20 minutes stir in the shallot mixture.
In a large bowl, toss the cabbage with as much dressing as you like. Adjust the salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerating a couple hours before serving allows the flavors to meld well, and the cabbage to soften slightly, but serving it immediately is just fine, too.