I tend to make recipes that are the norm wherever I might be. For instance in France I try French recipes & so on. Now that I am living in South Carolina I am having fun reconnecting to all the wonderful foods that the South has to offer.
This could also be that one prepares whatever ingredients are at hand.
Did you know that Charleston was once the biggest exporter of cabbages in the US?
Recently I have been enjoying rediscovering the southern coleslaw of my childhood, which is certainly different from its soggy & mayonnaise-y northern cousin.
With all the beautiful winter cabbages that are locally grown here, it is a breeze to make & is so tasty & versatile too.
Besides the cabbage, I add grated carrots, red pepper, celery, & chopped kale or any other dark leafy green for a punch of color.
Have you ever heard of a watermelon radish? I hadn't. It looks a bit like a turnip on the outside but when you cut into it, it really does look like a watermelon on the inside. It has a mild radish flavor & makes anything you add it to look pretty. Yet another locally grown ingredient that I like to add to my coleslaw.
The dressing is of course key & it seems everyone in the South has his or her own special recipe. Most are vinegar based with no mayonnaise at all. I just sort of made mine up as I went along.
Like the salad dressings I usually make, I macerated a large clove of garlic with salt in the bottom of a large bowl & mashed it into a paste.
I used the juice of a whole lemon
olive oil ( 3 to 1 measurement )
a dollop of Dijon mustard
cracked black pepper
& a large dollop of mayonnaise to make it just a little creamy
(I used the vegan variety but any favorite kind will do)
mix all the ingredients & then add your chopped & grated vegetables & toss
My grandmother always added celery seed to her coleslaw dressing as her secret ingredient . Unfortunately, I did not have any on hand but I will definitely be adding them next time.
It is good to eat as it is, as a salad, or as a toping for hot dogs, BBQ sandwiches, fish tacos or, as I like to have it, as the filling for a vegetarian wrap.