Crunchy Slaw with Ginger and Apples

June 19, 2009

 

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Oh, melancholy mealtime. Inevitably, one moment of every eating experience makes me sad, and it' s called THE END. I never want to stop. I spend the hours from sleep to waking dreaming about getting my teeth into breakfast. I prepare it with glee—even if it' s just a slice of toast and a cup of tea—and devour it, enraptured. I dread the final bite, the moment when I should push away from the table and get onto important things. A few minutes later I forget my troubles, awash with thoughts of lunch. I start planning my mid-day meal at about 8am and spend anywhere from four to five hours mulling over the upcoming thrill. Like all good things, it ends too quickly, and I' m left pondering a mid-afternoon snack, and the prospect of the biggest, most fulfilling gastronomical adventure of my day—dinner.

My recent musings have been largely affected by the weather: we' re pushing 100 degrees daily here in Houston, with 90 + percent humidity. Needless to say, it puts a damper on my desire for hot oatmeal or anything roasted in-house. But it hasn' t been all bad: the warmth inspired a delightfully easy cold cucumber and avocado soup, and recently prompted me to re-examine one of my favorite warm-weather dishes: slaw.

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I first discovered the versatility of slaw about five years ago and have been playing with it since. I generally stay away from infusing my own with heaps of mayonnaise, although I do enjoy a good deli-made slaw from time to time. Slaw is something I believe should be eaten in great quantities. I can easily make a batch and polish it off on my own within a couple of days. That is what I like most about slaw: it is the kind of thing you don' t have to stop eating—especially when it is dressed in something elegant, unlike the typical unctuous gloss of mayo.

The slaw I stumbled upon most recently is truly exceptional, and I will probably keep a refrigerator stocked full until the heat abates. That way I can eat until my jaw tires of crunching and chewing, keeping cool all the while.

Please remember to play with this recipe as you see fit—adjusting the citrus, sugar or cream to suit your fancy. You might also whip some goat cheese to the dressing to make it a bit richer. It would go nicely with the toasted walnuts and apples. Or try adding a handful of dried currants or cherries.

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Crunchy Slaw with Ginger and Apples

For dressing:

½ c olive oil
¼ c agave nectar or honey
¼ c heavy cream
juice of 1-2 lemons
¼ c apple cider vinegar
S & P to taste

For slaw:

1 finely shredded green cabbage
1 grated ginger root (use as much or as little as you like)
2 crisp, red apples
1 c toasted walnuts, chopped
½ c dried currants (optional)

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Mix apple cider vinegar, agave and lemon juice. Whisk in olive oil and cream. Set aside.

In the meantime, toss grated ginger and cabbage together in a large bowl. Grate apples over the bowl and toss with dressing. Add walnuts and dried fruit and toss a final time before serving.

Eat, eat, eat until you can' t eat no more.

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