Dr. Gerald Keep, Annoyed Scientist, 12/3/2019
You may disdain that little bit of slime they put on the side in restaurants, sometimes acidic and sour, sometimes overly seasoned, unreliable and uninteresting. You may eat it anyway for the roughage.
Here is what we do and just love it, and it’s actually easier than a full-blown tossed kitchen-sink salad (at least the way we do it, and surely you don’t need a recipe for that?). Another advantage is that cabbage doesn’t go bad in the fridge the way lettuce does, so you can keep a head around for a long time and make a fresh salad anytime.
I say fresh – if you ever do vegetable gardening, don’t neglect to plant some green cabbage. The difference between garden fresh and store-bought is not quite as big as it is with tomatoes, but I was shocked to learn this one. But store-bought is fine, doctored.
So, this recipe is based on about ¼ of a cabbage, which two people can almost eat in one sitting. If you have guests, or want to make a bigger batch that will last several days, you can go for a whole cabbage and do the math.
First clean up your cabbage wedge. If you cut tangents that avoid the core, it’s easier. If you have a partial cabbage, trim off the old cut edge so you don’t see any black. Then peel the outer leaves until none of them are black. Finally, cut off any core you have.
Now, slice along the face of the cabbage as thin as you can without losing fingertips. The big CUTCO™ cleaver is ideal for this. The result is a bunch of long strings. Turn them around, and cut to desired length. I like about 1 inch but you may wish to dice longer or smaller. Put it all in a big bowl.
In a small bowl mix together:
¼ cup mayonnaise (the real stuff, not Miracle Whip).
½ teaspoon of salt
2 teaspoons of sugar (or honey, that works great too)
2 ½ TABLEspoons of creamy stuff. You can use anything from heavy cream (best) to half-and-half, which you keep around for your coffee anyway, right?
Mix it really, really well, then pour the sauce over the cabbage and toss it. With a spoon, in the bowl.
Now if you’d had the foresight to mix the sauce in the bottom of the big bowl, you’d have one less bowl to clean, but then hindsight is 20/20.
We always throw in a handful of raisins (traditional or golden for variety) and stir them in. I suppose cut grapes would work as well, but they’re perishable so we don’t generally keep them around. Never tried dried cranberry, but thinking about it.
If you like walnuts, crush them with a tin can and add up to the same amount. They don’t go bad, but they do turn the sauce a bit grey in the leftovers – not for the squeamish.
Diced apple, with colorful peels still on, add a great element, but go brown in leftovers so we don’t usually bother.
If you really want color for special occasions, sliver a bit of carrot in the mix.
Yum! Always keep a cabbage around for this and to add to stir-frys.