Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Two Heads are Better

They say that two heads are better than one. I say that if they are heads of cabbage and cauliflower, you’re on the right track. Add an apple (to keep the doctor away), a creamy dressing, a bit of onion, and the Old World charm of caraway seeds, and you have a crunchy salad that takes slaw in from the picnic table and onto the autumn and winter dinner plate.

I like to make creamy dressings with a combination of mayonnaise and sour cream. The mayonnaise has the right body, while the sour cream provides some tang and keeps the dressing from feeling too heavy or gloppy. The addition of cider vinegar perks it up even more and provides an added bonus: it keeps the apples from turning brown.

The cool creaminess of the dressing contrasts very nicely with the creaky crunch of the chopped (not shredded) cabbage, the funky pop and crumble of the cauliflower and the tart crispness of the apple. The caraway…I don’t know. It was that flavor that was the most pleasant surprise to me when I first tried this recipe. Somehow caraway seeds just seem right in this salad, like they were born there (or are at least among a grouping of flavors that evolved together).

If you are serving a large group, I think this recipe could be easily doubled. Otherwise you don’t need two whole heads of vegetables to make this salad. It’s also quite easy to make, and the accuracy of measurements aren’t absolutely crucial, so it shouldn’t require two heads to figure it out. It tastes so good and is so much fun to crunch, however, you may just wish you had two heads so you could enjoy it twice as much!

Crunchy Cabbage, Cauliflower and Apple Salad Recipe
Modified from a recipe in Eating Well magazine.

1/3 cup (75 ml) mayonnaise
1/3 cup (75 ml) sour cream
2 tablespoons (30 ml) apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon (5 ml) caraway seeds, coarsely crushed
½ teaspoon (2 ml) salt
¼ teaspoon (1 ml) freshly ground pepper
¼ cup (about 1 ounce or 30g) finely chopped red onion
8 ounces (250g or about 2 cups) chopped green cabbage
8 ounces (250g or about 2 cups) chopped cauliflower
1 chopped tart, crisp apple, cored (no need to peel)

1. Combine mayonnaise, sour cream, red onion, cider vinegar, caraway seeds, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Whisk to blend well.

2. Add onion, cabbage, cauliflower and apple to the dressing. Toss well to coat with the dressing.

Can be made a few hours ahead, since the vinegar in the dressing keeps the apples from getting brown. Keep chilled. Leftovers also last a few days in the refrigerator.

Makes about 6 servings.

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