The Wayback Machine: Red, White & Bleu Coleslaw

The Wayback Machine: Red, White & Bleu Coleslaw

Coleslaw is frustrating - at least, to me it is. You take some of the healthiest raw ingredients we've got in our lexicon, shred them up, toss them together - and then drown them in a sauce that's mostly saturated fat and sugar. Not only does the sauce frequently negate the salad (depending on how well-drained your coleslaw is) but it also negates the flavors we're trying to teach our kids to enjoy.

I wish I could find and link the parent recipe to this salad; I know I adapted it from somewhere out there on the internet! Bleu cheese coleslaw recipes are a dime-a-dozen, and in general are no better than their sweet-and-sour counterparts. At some point, I tossed the original idea and started making my own dressing, and succeeded in creating a satisfying version that wasn't an empty-calorie bomb. This has become our go-to potluck dish; it's salty and sweet and sour and satisfying.

It's important to make the dressing ahead of time, to give the cheese time to flavor the yogurt.

Bleu Cheese Dressing Ingredients
5oz bleu cheese
6oz Greek-style (or strained) yogurt
(You can add a tablespoon or so of mayonnaise or sour cream for a richer dressing, if you like - or if you're in too much of a hurry to let it it for two hours)
A tablespoon or two of wine vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste

bleu cheeseA few hours before we planned to eat, Sparky mashed 4 ounces of bleu cheese with a fork,

yogurt

and then stirred in the yogurt, thinning it to the consistency of salad dressing with the vinegar. He added the salt and pepper, tasted it, and then we set it in the fridge until we were ready for it.
Coleslaw ingredients
1/2 large red cabbage (about a pound?), shredded;
4 crisp apples, julienned (I used Gala, but Fuji will work, too. Firm and sweet is what you want.)
A couple handfuls of nuts of your choice (I usually use pecans or walnuts)
Salt
Vinegar

I think the last time we shredded up some red cabbage, we were using its litmus-paper properties to make green eggs and ham! This time, I set Sparky to shredding:

cabbage1First, cut the head in half through the core, to give yourself a flat surface. Then, start cutting thin slices around the core (simpler than coring it!) When your cabbage is three flat faces cut to the core, flip it to one of the other flat sides to cut the last outside part. Put your shredded cabbage in a large bowl, salt it lightly and toss it to separate the shreds.

apple1Then, Sparky julienned the apples (you can grate them or cut them on a mandolin, but sometimes this is faster.) Set the apple, stem side up, on your cutting board and cut a flat slice next to the core. Turn 90 degrees and repeat until you have four slices and a squared-off core.

slicesTake each side and carefully cut it into thin slices (feel free to eat the curved end bits.) Sparky did this by carefully holding the slice on either side and guiding the knife through.

batonsThen he simply flipped the side to the uncut face and did the same thing, giving us nice, even batons of apples. We sprinkled them with vinegar and added them to the cabbage, along with some walnuts. Then we poured our dressing over the whole thing and tossed it thoroughly with some salad tongs. Then we gobbled it up!

Enjoy!
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