Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Rainbow Slaw with Agave-Lime Dressing

Memorial Day is just around the corner - wow, is it really almost June?!

Barbecues, cookouts, potlucks will ensue.  Burgers and dogs will be grilled.  Fireworks will be set.

Will you be ready?

This Rainbow Slaw has quickly become my favorite coleslaw.  Its colorful and beautiful and it tastes so fresh.  Plus, it doesn't use any mayo - just whole, real foods.  In fact, it's vegan.  Also gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free and nut-free.  I think I have all my food-allergy bases covered with this one.

It makes a gorgeous side-dish to barbecued chicken or a delicious and unexpected hot dog topper.  I grilled some Applegate Farms Organic Chicken & Apple Sausages until nicely charred, then served them inside a French baguette, topped with the slaw and a little dijon mustard.  Summer grilling at its best.

I love serving hot dogs or sausages inside baguettes - it adds a little bit of class to an otherwise simple food.  You simply cut a piece the same size as the hot dog or sausage, then use a knife to split the piece  3/4 of the way through.  Place the dog inside and top as you wish!  It's great because it doesn't have any dough softeners or preservatives like most packaged hot dog rolls, and you can often find whole wheat baguettes at most grocery stores, too.  Plus, you don't have to worry about having buns that are too long for your hot dogs, because you cut them to size.  And while I don't like having extra hot dog buns leftover, I am totally ok with having leftover french bread.  I'm just gonna come right out and say it's brilliant ;-)

Try this slaw, I assure you you won't regret it one bit.  I should mention, it's infinitely adaptable.  Don't have agave?  Use honey.  Don't like onion?  Substitute a bunch of fresh cilantro, chopped.  It's ok to play with your food.  Just don't throw it, OK?

Rainbow Slaw with Agave-Lime Dressing
serves 6-8 as a side-dish
adapted from The Kitchn

1/2 head of purple cabbage, cored
1/2 head of green cabbage, cored
3 medium carrots, peeled
4 green onions (white and green parts), thinly sliced
juice from 2 limes
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon agave nectar (or a little more, to taste)
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt (or a little more, to taste)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper (or a little more, to taste)

Shred the cabbage finely using a very sharp chef's knife (or a mandoline or food processor shredding blade).  Using a box grater, grate the carrots (again, you could also use your food processor's shredding blade here too).  In a very large bowl, combine the shredded cabbage, carrots and the thinly sliced green onions.

In a small bowl, whisk together the lime juice, olive oil, agave, salt and pepper.  Pour dressing over the cabbage and toss well.  Season with additional salt, pepper and agave as necessary.

The slaw will shrink in volume over time as the cabbage releases its moisture.  I think its best to serve this slaw within 1-2 days, but it will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 3 days.

Serving ideas:

-  Use as a topping on grilled hot dogs or sausages
-  Serve on top of pulled/shredded barbecue chicken or pork sandwiches
-  Serve as a side-dish with barbecue chicken breasts or legs
-  Serve slaw on top of fish tacos (I like to use Mahi-Mahi but any white fish will work) with diced avocado, greek yogurt and lime wedges

What are your Memorial Day plans?  Headed to the Beach?  Does your family have a big cookout or set off your own fireworks?  Do tell!


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