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Ice cream aside, nothing cools down a steamy barbecue like creamy, crunchy coleslaw.
Slaw has long been a favorite of this cookout-loving gal, and I’ve eaten my way through many fabulous recipes.
No matter how many variations I try, though, I still can’t get enough.
In search of learning all things slaw, I took a quick spin around the library and found that while the term “coleslaw” comes from the Dutch term for “cabbage salad,” it’s still perfectly correct to toss other veggies in and still call it slaw.
Leah Stacey’s Asian Slaw, from www.justapinch.com, is a perfect example.
Piled high atop her Blue Ribbon winning Thai Smile Burger, Stacey’s broccoli slaw starts with classic Thai flavor and ends in big smiles.
Much of the traditional Thai flavor comes from the use of ingredients such as rice wine vinegar, garlic, onion, soy, and ginger.
Oh, and did I mention the salted peanuts?
The nuts add an unexpected sweetness and crunch that makes this recipe perfect as a condiment or as a stand-alone side dish.
If traditional cabbage slaw is more your bag, you simply must try Shirley Terhaar’s Pepper Slaw, which is also online at www.justapinch.com.
This inventive slaw has all the classic goodness of coleslaw, but with added vegetables and, get this, no mayo!
Terhaar’s recipe is one of our go-to picnic recipes.
It’s a snap to prepare, features fresh cabbage, peppers, onions and carrots, and actually gets better as it sits out.
With a simple dressing of vinegar, dry mustard, vegetable oil and spices, it’s easy to pull this one together in a pinch. It can also be easily doubled.
Got some less than enthusiastic cabbage eaters in your house? Shelene Wilhelm is a Wyoming mom with the answer.
“We came up with this recipe after eating pasta slaw (at a local restaurant). Neither my husband nor the kids would really eat coleslaw until we tried this recipe,” she said. “Now, it’s a family favorite that we make regularly.”
Combining the best of pasta salad and cabbage slaw, Wilhelm’s Pasta Slaw recipe mixes up cooked ditalini pasta (the little tubes) with shredded cabbage, cucumbers, carrots, celery onion and peppers.
Once bathed in her sweet and tangy sauce of vinegar and mayo, Wilhelm’s slaw is a true family-friendly masterpiece.
“My father will even ask for a little of the dressing to put on his hamburger,” Wilhelm said.
Veggies are so wonderful served in their natural form, but even the belles of the ball enjoy dressing up from time to time.
What’s your slaw style?
Janet Tharpe is a chef assistant at a culinary school in Franklin, Tenn. and is “test kitchen hostess” for www.justapinch.com.
3 cups cabbage, shredded
1 cup red or green peppers, thinly sliced
3/4 cup celery, thinly sliced
1/2 cup onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup shredded carrots
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 teaspoon celery salt
1/2 teaspoon cracked pepper
1/4 teaspoon celery seed
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1/2 tablespoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, finely chopped
1 tablespoon brown sugar
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 12-ounce bag of broccoli slaw
1/3 cup thinly sliced red bell pepper
1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1/4 cup green onions
1/2 tablspoon white sugar
1/4 cup coarsely chopped roasted peanuts
Salt and pepper to taste