Creamy Buttermilk Cole Slaw

Creamy Cole Slaw

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 1 small cabbage, sliced finely
  • 2 large carrots, shredded
  • 1/2 onion, shredded
  • 2 garlic cloves, shredded
  • 1 Tbsp dijon
  • 1/4 c. mayo
  • 1/2 c. buttermilk
  • 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Fresh ground pepper, to taste

Directions


Mix together the cabbage and carrots. Whisk together the rest of the ingredients in the dressing, then pour over the vegetables and toss until evenly coated.

And now for the details…

Well, this recipe is not terrible pretty, but it sure is yummy. I feel as though the Netflix show ‘Ugly Delicious’ could take its title and attach it to this side. Cole slaw’s are not usually overly pretty and do not offer the same presentation possibilities as many other dishes, but are tasty and very versatile in their use. I mean, really, what other salad do you know that you can put together completely, dress, and have it not only taste great the next day, but often even better than it did the first!

And man, does this salad have lasting power. I will make it at the beginning of the week, and we often have it multiple times throughout the week, minimizing the evening meal prep, and it holds well when taking it to work as a side.

Prep on this salad is relatively easy, but is definitely easier with the use of a very sharp knife. I use my Japanese knife to cut the cabbage quite fine, since this is my preference. If a super sharp knife is not available to you, feel free to use a food processor to shred your cabbage, carrots, and onions. They will not be as fine, but will still be fresh and crunchy and will soak up the dressing.

A quick note on cabbage: I have used green cabbage, pretty standard, in this recipe. You can use Napa or savoy instead, but the salad will not last quite as long. My grandma used to grow cabbage that would form earlier than the green cabbage. It was sweeter and more tender than its later-blooming cousin, but either work well for cole slaws.

After your veggies have been shredded and mixed, whisk together the dressing ingredients. To get a better consistency to the mix, stir the garlic and onions in with the dressing ingredients, not with the veggies.

Finally, pour the dressing over the vegetables and toss vigorously, until everything has mixed well together. Serve the cole slaw on its own as a side, or as a topping (hint: it goes really well on tacos… future post? Highly likely.)

Happy eating.

Green and Garlicky Chimichurri Sauce

Chimichurri Sauce

  • Servings: 1 cup
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 7 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 3 c. Italian parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • 1/2 c. olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp red chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp. dried oregano

Directions


In a small food processor, place the garlic and shallot and pulse until quite fine. Add the parsley, red wine vinegar, lime juice, and spices, and pulse until fairly fine. Add the olive oil and purée until desired texture.

And now for the details…

I am a big fan of sauces in general, and one favourite in our household is chimichurri sauce. And how could it not be? It’s savoury and salty, with a bit of tang. I’m drooling right now just thinking about it. It makes for a great companion with steak or other grilled meats, which is its typical use in its country of origin, Argentina. But I have also really enjoyed chimichurri on halloumi cheese, or as a sauce in tacos.

I think the other reason I am so enthralled with this sauce is that the predominant ingredient is parsley. For me, parsley is an herb that often seems to fall by the wayside of its stronger-flavoured peers like basil, cilantro, or mint. In fact, for a long time, I thought parsley had little to no flavour and was just a garnish to add a green splash of colour to a recipe. But as recipes like chimichurri and tabbouleh entered my life, I started to see parsley take centre stage, and realized the fresh herbaceousness that parsley can bring to the table.

For my recipe, I am calling for Italian parsley, which is flat-leafed, and I find is “wetter” than it’s cousin, curly parsley. You could absolutely use curly parsley instead, but I prefer the texture I get out of Italian parsley.

We will start by loosely chopping the shallots and garlic, and adding them to the food processor. I am going fairly heavy-handed with the garlic in this recipe. If you are wanting a less garlicky experience, feel free to cut down the amount of garlic cloves you add. Pulse the shallots and garlic until they are fairly finely minced.

Next, loosely chop your parsley, removing any large stems, and add it to your food processor with the red wine vinegar, lime juice, and spices.

Pulse all the ingredients together until it has formed a bit of a paste, and the parsley is mostly broken down. Then add your olive oil and blitz the mixture until you have your desired texture.

Pour out into a small bowl and serve with your meal of choice!

Happy eating.

Grilled Apricot Salad with Radicchio and Mint

Grilled Apricot Salad

  • Servings: 2-4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 4 apricots
  • 1 bunch radicchio, cored and sliced.
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint
  • 1/2 bulb fennel, cored and sliced thin
  • 2 Tbsp bleu cheese, crumbled
  • 4 Tbsp pecans, toasted and crushed
  • 2 Tbsp dijon mustard
  • 2 Tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 2+4 Tbsp olive oil

Directions

Cut apricots in half. Coat with 2 Tbsp olive oil. Place on a bbq at medium-high heat, turning halfway through until cooked through (about 4-5 minutes total). Remove from grill and set aside. Place radicchio and fennel on a plate. Whisk together the mustard, vinegar and 4 Tbsp oil until emulsified. Pour over the vegetables. Top with apricots. Sprinkle with mint, cheese and pecans, and serve.

And now for the details…

I have a radicculous love for radicchio (oh yes, I went that cheesy). As I get older, I have come to enjoy more and more the bitter element that many foods provide that I could not appreciate when I was younger. Coffee, strong tea, dark chocolate, grapefruit, red wine and, of course: radicchio. There is something about bringing the bitterness together with sweet, sour, and creamy that amps all those flavours up a notch and creates a taste explosion.

A favourite salad we had in France was incredibly simple: endive, crumbled bleu cheese and mustard dressing. This recipe is taking that super simple salad and giving it a tiny bump up. We are adding in the sweet and sour of the grilled apricots, not to mention the earthiness that comes out of those grill marks. We are pulling in the freshness and sweetness of the mint and fennel. And we are adding a bit of crunch with the toasted pecans. Plus, the slight bitter note of the pecan skins matches so wonderfully with the bitterness of the radicchio. And the creamy, salty bleu cheese? Yes, thank you.

So with that: let’s get to making this salad a reality.

Start by prepping your veggies. Wash and dry the radicchio. Cut it into halves, and core the hard centre out before slicing the rest of it into strips.

Next, wash and core your fennel, and slice it into very thin strips. Raw fennel is quite crunchy, so you want those nice thin pieces to bring forward the juiciness and sweetness of the fennel while not being the focus of the bite when you are trying to chew. Add the fennel to the radicchio in your plate and toss to mix the two.

Next, cut the apricots into halves and pull them off their pits. Add the olive oil and toss to coat the apricots lightly with some olive oil so they do not stick to the grill. Place them on a medium-high grill, allowing them to brown slightly on the one side before turning and browning on the other side. Remove them from the grill and set them to the side while you prep the rest of the salad.

Mix the vinegar and the mustard together. Slowly add the oil, whisking the entire time, so that the mixture emulsifies.

Emulsify: what does this mean? It is mixing liquids together (e.g. oil and vinegar), which normally separate, but mixing them with another ingredient so they mix together and stay fairly stable as a homogeneous mix, instead of separating the moment after you have swished them together. In other words, the emulsifier is your facilitator to make sure the vinegar and oil continue to get along. In this case, mustard is our emulsifier. We mix the mustard and vinegar together first, to allow the mustard and vinegar to get to know each other and build a relationship. Then, we add the oil while whisking, and the whole blend comes together beautifully, while remaining a stable mix. Y’see, mustard introduces itself to oil all slick-like, and mustard pulls in vinegar and makes sure oil and vinegar get to be best friends too, without wanting to be apart from each other the moment they come together. Oh wow. Mustard is basically the world’s best wing (wo)man. Yes this sounds hokey. And of course there is a scientific explanation. In fact this article speaks much more to the emulsifying qualities of mustard.

Finally, we can finish off our salad. Place the apricots over the radicchio and fennel. Sprinkle the mint overtop and crumble the bleu cheese over the salad. The easiest method for crumbling the bleu cheese? Fingies. Make sure you take the cheese out straight out of the fridge, which will make it a bit easier to crumble, then squish the sh*t out of it between your fingers as you sprinkle it over your salad. Finish the salad off with some toasted pecans and drizzle with your dressing, then serve.

Happy eating.