Innocent Cole Slaw

I almost dislike using the dietary terms vegan, paleo, or no-mayo to describe this recipe but out this is all of that and more. Substitutions are encouraged, to a degree. If you use a toasted sesame oil instead of a golden sesame oil you should only use about a tablespoon because of the stronger flavor. The proportions of oil to vinegar are half and half so you can make more or less dressing with that ratio. Since there is no sugar, honey, or maple syrup in the dressing the dates and sweet vinegar are important.

A quick note on equipment I use for this recipe, if you do not have a mandolin or a food processor, they are not critical for the success of this recipe. Hand cut and hand mixed works well too and lends a rustic quality to the dish. Also, I have made this with all green cabbage before and is just as delicious as using a mix, since I don’t mind having two half cabbages left over and it looks pretty, I’ve used both for this posting but do not feel obliged to do so. You may make it with all red too!

For the salad:

½ green cabbage

½ red cabbage

½ golden beet, peeled

½ red onion

2 medium carrots, peeled

A few sprigs of cilantro

For the dressing:

¼ cup sweet vinegar (I use chardonnay)

¼ cup apple cider vinegar

2 garlic cloves minced and ground into paste on your chop board using 1 teaspoon of salt

¼ cup golden sesame oil

¼ cup good olive oil

2 dates roughly chopped

2 dried hot peppers (optional and adjustable)

Use a mandolin to slice thin “hairs” of both cabbages. I set my mandolin as thin as I can possibly go to get long skinny “noodles” of vegetables. Add the cabbage to a big bowl. Slice the onion (do not use the entire ½ onion unless you really like onion). Slice the carrots and the beets then restack these and use a chef’s knife to make slivers. Tear the leaves from the cilantro stem and just rough chop, these pieces can be almost whole. Add all of these vegetable to the bowl.

In a glass measuring cup pour in the sweet vinegar (to the ¼ cup mark) and then the apple cider vinegar (total to the ½ cup mark). Add the garlic/salt paste and give it a little stir. Add the olive oil (to the ¾ cup mark) and then the golden sesame oil to the 1 cup mark. Set this aside for 10 minutes to let the garlic “cook” in the vinegar while you prepare dates. Use a food processor or blender add the dates and pour in the cup of vinegars, oils, garlic and salt mixture. Crush the red peppers in (or add black pepper). Whirl until the dates are dissolved and the dressing thickens.

Pour the dressing on the salad and toss, can be served right away or left in the refrigerator until ready. This makes a great base for chicken, steak, chops or shrimp and can be used as a side for barbeques and pot luck. Makes 6 cups