This may be hard to believe, since I’ve written so much about it over the past few days, but that 10K I ran on Sunday morning wasn’t my only weekend activity. On Saturday night (the night before the big race), I was invited to a potluck, and you know me… I love an excuse to try out or create a new recipe.
I decided to bring a salad. I’m good at salads, and my Saturday before the potluck was kinda packed, so it was something that could come together relatively quickly, and I wouldn’t have to worry about it staying hot. I found an idea for a dressing and another element that sounded good in The Farm to Table Cookbook (which I modified, naturally), but the salad they recommended serving it on sounded kinda blah. And since cole slaw seems like a very potlucky-type dish, I decided that was the way to go.
This dish has a really long name. Are you ready? Here’s how I made my…
Cabbage & Apple Slaw, with Balsamic-Soaked Currants, Toasted Pecans, and Sweet Ginger Curry Dressing.
Whew, that title is a mouthful! This recipe makes a lot of salad, so you may want to consider halving it before you commit to buying ingredients.
Preparations began on Friday night. First thing on the to-do list: Balsamic-Soaked Currants. Currants are a variety of small raisins that date back to ancient Greece. They look like raisins and taste like raisins, but they’re called currants so stores can charge more for them (just a guess). I’ve had currants in scones and granola and other baked goods, but this may have been the first time I’ve bought them:
See? I told you they look like raisins. I put about a cup of them in an airtight container, and added enough balsamic vinegar until they were covered:
I let them sit in the fridge overnight, but all they really need is an hour or to. There! Balsamic-soaked currants… done.
I also made the dressing on Friday night. I pulled out my blender, and started with the first ingredient: a Granny Smith apple:
Hmmm… maybe I should peel, core, and chop that apple, huh?
Much better. That’s two cups of apple, which actually turned out to be one and a half Granny Smiths. Then I added all sorts of good stuff:
- 2 teaspoons fresh ginger
- 1 tablespoon curry powder
- 2 garlic cloves
- 4 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1.5 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar (apple cider vinegar would be good too)
The Farm to Table recipe called for 1/2 cup of oil, but there’s no way I was adding that much oil, so I modified it, and added 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 more tablespoons vinegar, and 1/4 water. Blend it until it’s smooth, and you end up with:
It’s the curry that gives it the fantastic color!
The last thing I did on Friday night was toast some pecans. I forgot to take pictures, but I threw about 2 cups of pecan halves in a 10″ skillet (no need for oil, butter, or spray of any kind), and put them on medium-low heat for about 5-7 minutes. You know they’re done when you can smell ‘em! And they smell great!
On Saturday, all I had to do was assemble the salad, which involved a lot of chopping. First item on the cutting board: cabbage:
That’s a savoy cabbage, which has leaves that are more wrinkly than regular green cabbage. I removed and tossed the outer-most leaves, chopped it in half, cut out the thick core, and chopped it up:
The entire cabbage went in the bowl. I wanted a little color and variety, so I also added 1/2 of a red cabbage:
Then, about 6 or 7 stalks of celery, chopped:
And half of a red onion, sliced. A little onion goes a long way:
Next up, more apple. I wanted to buy Braeburn, because I’ve read that they’re the most resistant to browning, and I thought I bought Braeburn, but when I got home from the store, it turned out they were Honeycrisp. I guess I wasn’t paying attention to the signs in the produce section. Or maybe they were mislabeled. Either way, Honeycrisps are great apples – firm and crunchy and sweet – so I chopped 5 of them. I left the skins on, to add color.
Time for the finishing touches! I pulled out the currants, which had been soaking up the balsamic all night, and started scooping them out with a slotted spoon:
These are pungent little fellows! Sweet, with a balsamic kick – very tasty. I put about half of them in the bowl, along with half of the pecans. I added the dressing…
…and tossed it all together. Then, I sprinkled the other half of the currants and pecans on top, to make it purdy. Wanna see the final result?
I added a sign so everyone knew what they were getting into:
That’s painters’ tape, so the bowl doesn’t get damaged.
The potluck was a lot of fun. I met a lot of new people, and I think the slaw was a hit. People seemed to be eating it!
I bought too much cabbage, though, and there’s still 1/2 of a red cabbage and an entire second savoy cabbage in my fridge. Another slaw may be in my future…
Keep it up, David!