One the the semi-odd elements about my job is that I am developing a far more detailed sense of what Americans eat, or what options we typically eat, than I might otherwise. For coleslaw, we ask if it was prepared with or without fruit, and whether it was a vinegar or mayo based dressing. Today’s slaw was prepared with fruit, and with a vinegar dressing!

Don’t yield to the temptation of skipping the salting step. Salting the cabbage is what creates that typical crunchy texture, and rinsing it well removes most of the salt. By rinse well, I mean rinse, rinse, rinse, swish around, rinse, rinse, and drain. The cabbage can be prepared and rinsed ahead of time, but the salad holds reasonably well for 2-3 days.

Red Cabbage with Fruit Slaw

Serves a crowd. Take it to a holiday gathering!

1 small red cabbage or half a large head
4 T salt
2 very large apples or 4 small to normal apples (preferably tart and sweet)
4 t lemon juice
1-2 carrots, thinly sliced
1/3 c thinly sliced leek
1/4 c dried cranberries
1/2 c raisins
1/4 c toasted, salted pistachios
4 t lemon balsamic vinegar, preferably white*

Shred the cabbage and toss with the salt. Allow to sit in a strainer (over a bowl or in the sink) for 25-30 minutes. Meanwhile, core and chop the apples. Toss the apples with the lemon juice. Slice the vegetables and measure out the dried fruit and nuts. Rinse the cabbage well. Taste it, and rinse again if it’s salty. Press to drain thoroughly. Toss with the apples, vegetables, dried fruit, nuts, and vinegar.

*This is a random, gourmet-type purchase. Apple cider vinegar might work well too, or a mild rice vinegar, with a little lemon zest.