from one generation to the next
Sadly, coleslaw has a bad reputation. Because it’s often soggy and tastes of nothing more than cheap commercial mayonnaise it is considered as the most pedestrian of salad choices. In reality coleslaw can be deliciously crisp and vibrant with a sweet acidic tang.
Commercial coleslaw is soggy because the cabbage and carrot are shredded on a machine that rips, tears and bruises, causing them to bleed their juices when the dressing is added, emphasizing the osmotic affect.
So the first rule of thumb for making excellent crisp coleslaw is to hand cut the cabbage, carrot and apple. It takes a few minutes longer, but there is no waste, little mess and cutting your vegie julienne by hand with a sharp cook’s knife is a great way to develop your knife skills.
My Mum always added apple to her coleslaw. The sweet acidity is perfect with the raw soft leaf cabbage, it’s the flavour I expect from coleslaw, so I add apple too. It’s important though to toss the apple in lemon juice so that the cut surfaces maintain their fresh colour, the lemon then underscores the fresh flavour of the salad, while the currants add an element of sweet surprise.
Use clean hands to massage the yoghurt through the coleslaw. It’s the only way to do a thorough job.
The gentle acidity of coleslaw makes it an excellent aside to crumbed fried food, like fish or schnitzel.
Wash and dry the apple, but do not peel. Cut thin rounds off the apple, then stack the rounds and slice the apple into thin julienne.
Put the apple into a small bowl, sprinkle the lemon juice over, then toss to coat. Set aside.
Separate the cabbage leaves, wash and dry thoroughly.
Slit the wide thick stem section vertically. Roll several leaves together into a cigar shape and using a cook’s knife shred finely.
Continue making cigar rolls and cutting until the cabbage is all sliced. Place it into a large bowl and set aside.
Peel the carrot, then cut long diagonal circles down its length. Stack the circles and cut into fine julienne. Add the carrot to the cabbage.
Wash the spring onion greens and pat dry. Cut the spring onion into fine rounds then add the the cabbage along with the currants and lemony apple.
Add the yoghurt, then using clean hands, massage it through the salad to thoroughly dress.
Scoop into a serving bowl.