Tag Archives: side dish

Crunchy (not creamy) Coleslaw

Yesterday was 37°C. Summer is here!

I never thought I would find the smells of sunscreen and mosquito repellent so appealing. Caramelised onions on the barbecue and freshly picked basil and mint are more the kind of thing I was actively looking forward to.

Summer means lots of eating and cooking outside: barbecues and long cold drinks. We’ve been making loads of tomato salads and grilled eggplant. I’ve been adding finely sliced zucchini to green salads, and using the first of our homegrown herbs. Oh and I’ve newly discovered a love of mangoes, can’t get enough of them. After two winters in a row we’ve finally reached the light at the end of the tunnel, and it’s hot and glorious.

So, rhapsody out of the way, this is just a simple recipe with my take on good old coleslaw. I like to have the vegetables shredded or chopped into large matchstick-sized pieces. The crunchy apple adds a great sweetness, while the sunflower seeds bring their usual toasty, nutty goodness. With the sharp dressing the result is a well-balanced, very crunchy salad that is easy to make in huge quantities for when you’re feeding a crowd.

To make

Half a red cabbage
2 carrots, peeled
2 crunchy apples
2 spring onions
¼ cup sunflower seeds, toasted
2 tablespoons-ish red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon-ish olive oil
salt and pepper

Shred the cabbage finely with the grain, and then chop the long strands into around 4cm lengths. Chop the carrots and apples into matchstick-sized pieces. Clean the spring onions and remove the roots, then slice very finely at an angle.

Combine the cabbage, carrots, apples, spring onion and sunflower seeds in a large bowl.

Mix up a dressing of 2 parts vinegar to 1 part olive oil (i.e. an opposite ratio to usual dressings) and add a pinch of salt and some freshly ground black pepper. I give ‘ish’ measurements above because the amount of dressing you need will vary depending on how big your veg are etc. Add the dressing a little at a time until you get just the right balance of sweet vegetables and tangy dressing.

One great thing about this salad is that it can handle being dressed a while in advance, so it’s great for taking to parties.

NB: If you won’t be eating the coleslaw straight away squeeze a little lemon juice over the chopped apples before adding them to the other ingredients to prevent them from discolouring.



sort of sicilian salad: with green olives, celery and then some

I learnt two new things while cooking dinner on Friday night. The first was how to prepare alici (fresh anchovy fish). We were making fritto misto for dinner and these were to be one of the varieties of seafood cleaned, tossed in semolina flour and then deep-fried.

It turns out that these little fish are really easy to clean, although the process of ripping the head of, opening the belly and pulling out the backbone isn’t very attractive, so I decided not to make that the focus of this post! Instead I thought I’d share the other thing I learned on Friday night: a new salad recipe.

Working to instructions from Liz I threw this salad together in a few moments. It goes amazingly well with seafood, but would probably compliment chicken or pork just as well.

Using good-quality ingredients is the key to this simple salad. For me that means buying good, pit-in olives. To get the pits out I simply squash the olive with the flat of a knife and then pull the flesh away from the pit. This works fairly well, but if anyone has a better technique I’d be happy to hear it!

to make

2 cups celery, diced
1 cup green olives, pitted and roughly chopped
1/2 medium red onion, finely diced
1–2 teaspoons dried oregano
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
2ish tablespoons olive oil

Mix the celery, olives, red onion and oregano in a bowl. Dress with enough lemon juice and olive oil to lightly coat all of the ingredients. Taste and adjust as required.