Everyone needs a good slaw recipe in their cooking repertoire. I should know this better than most as I grew up in the Midwest where only a handful of sides were suitable for Kansas City-Style Barbeque: baked beans, corn on the cobb and, of course, coleslaw. Unfortunately, at my childhood table, I knew coleslaw to be little more than stringy, store-bought slop laden with mayonnaise. Ewe!!!!
Thus, it should come as no surprise that the first time I made slaw, I took a sharp turn away from typical and looked to my 2004 William-Sonoma Entertaining Cookbook for inspiration. The cookbook was organized by season and one of the Menus for Summer called for an amazing Celery Slaw with Shrimp. A perfect update to old-fashioned coleslaw, it married green cabbage, radishes, celery, and green onions with crumbled blue cheese, pan-fried shrimp and was finished in a buttermilk vinaigrette.
I loved this recipe for its limited use of mayonnaise and for its inclusion of vegetables other than shredded cabbage. And, by the numerous stains splattered throughout Page 137, one could conclude that I have cooked this recipe more than a handful of times. However, each time I cooked this recipe, I found myself in the kitchen for at least an hour; frying the bacon, pan-searing the shrimp, chopping the vegetables, whisking together the vinaigrette…you get the drift.
So, overtime, I started toying with its ingredients to create a vegetarian version that came together quickly and highlighted a few of my favorite vegetables: Brussels Sprouts, Cauliflower, and Carrots. To cut-down the cooking time, I traded-in hand-chopping and left it to my food processor to perfectly shred the raw vegetables. Then, I added diced apples to replace the sweetness of the shrimp and “dumb-downed” the vinaigrette to include only 4 ingredients. I kept the crumbled blue cheese as a savory finish to the slaw, along with the addition of toasted pecans.
As you can see, I have come a long way from settling for the sub-par slaw of my Midwest childhood. And, to my relatives out in Kansas…I, along with this homemade slaw, are coming for you this summer! Be prepared to become converts! Xoxo, E.
- FOR THE SALAD
- 2 c Brussels Sprouts, quartered
- 2 c Cauliflower Florets, coarsely chopped
- 1 c Carrots, peeled, coarsely chopped
- 1 c Apples, cored, diced (preferably Gala Apple)
- ½ c Pecans, chopped, toasted
- 2 T Chives, minced
- ⅓ c Blue Cheese, crumbled
- FOR THE DRESSING
- ¼ c Buttermilk
- 3 t Real Maple Syrup
- ¼ t Salt
- ¼ t Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- In a medium-sized food processor, chop the brussels sprouts until no large chunks remain, approximately 10 to 15 seconds; transfer to a large mixing bowl. Repeat chopping process with the cauliflower florets and then the carrots, transferring each to the mixing bowl. Add the diced apples, toasted pecans, and the minced chives to the chopped vegetables; set aside.
- In a small glass measuring cup (or small bowl), whisk together the buttermilk, maple syrup, salt and black pepper. Pour the dressing over the salad, toss to combine and finish with the crumbled blue cheese.