Coleslaw with Caper-Anchovy Dressing (AIP, Paleo)
Are you dreaming of a July 4th barbecue feast? If you are, I have a few ideas for you. Creamy coleslaw is some of the best picnic fare around, but a vinegary slaw can be a tart change of pace, improve while sitting on a buffet, and even add a bit of polish to a plate full of picnic food. (Aside: Is there anything better than a plate full of picnic food? Gah!) Before I sing the salty praises of capers and anchovies, I want to point out my friend Shaina Olmanson’s sweet-and-sour Carolina-style vinegar coleslaw recipe on her delicious blog Food for my Family. Her husband Ole is a grill master – truly – so when she suggests the perfect slaw for July 4th barbecued pork, we all should listen. I make her coleslaw all the time and keep a jar of the dressing in my fridge – it’s fantastic on every salad.So OK, back to capers and anchovies. I made this coleslaw for a lamb chop feast a few weeks back and it was a hit with everyone at the table. Capers with lamb is totally my jam, as are kalamata olives, oregano, and spring onions. If you want to sear a few chops on the stovetop for a quick weeknight meal, check out this delectable recipe and step-by-step video I shot with chef Peter Ireland. He has great tips for achieving the perfect crusty-pink chop.
Or if you’re thinking of grilling a succulent leg of lamb for your barbecue, well I wouldn’t blame you one bit and in fact, I’d happily show up with this salad!So why am I picturing it with salmon? Because all the same zingy-briny flavors are fantastic with salmon too – spoon some of the dressing over the fish while it’s sizzling from the pan. The tang of the capers and lemon juice balance the creamy fattiness of wild-caught salmon for a memorable – and beautiful – entree that takes about 15 minutes to pull together.
Coleslaw with Caper-Anchovy Dressing
1 small (or 1/2 large) head red cabbage (or use a mix of green and red), cored and sliced thinly with a sharp knife or mandoline
1/2 cup chopped spring onions (or scallions)
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 fat clove garlic, minced or crushed
2 tablespoons capers, drained and chopped
2 tablespoons chopped kalamata olives
2 tablespoons minced anchovies or anchovy paste
Optional garnish: 1/2 cup (or more) of crispy, crumbled bacon
Place cabbage in a colander and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon of the salt. Toss to coat and let sit, over a bowl or in the sink, for an hour. Spread the cabbage (it will be damp from the salt drawing liquid from it) on several paper towels. Gently blot with more paper towels, then roll the cabbage in paper towels and set in the refrigerator to chill for up to 24 hours.
Up to one hour before serving, put the cabbage in a large bowl. Add the spring onions (and bacon if using) and toss to combine.
In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, oregano, garlic, capers, olives, and anchovy paste. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Dress cabbage (you won’t use all the dressing; cover and chill what remains for another salad), tossing to coat thoroughly. Season salad with salt.
And while I’m talking salmon, I’m never super thrilled with what I buy here in town. I order salmon online from Vital Choice and it’s sometimes excellent, sometimes just OK. If you have a salmon purveyor you’re passionate about, leave a comment, we’d all love to know!
And oh! While we’re talking about barbecues and picnics and summer entertaining, I want to introduce you to my insanely talented food writer friend Joy Summers’ new blog, Joy on the Rocks. On it she’ll be talking cocktails, both the craft-cocktail-scene variety and the make-at-home variety, including a gorgeous sangria just perfect for the 4th. Given my autoimmune protocol cocktail-less status these days, I’ve been remiss in sharing cocktail recipes and in pointing out what’s great to drink around town. I do plan to share raves about where to get a good mocktail. (Recommendations so far: La Belle Vie, which prints a whole menu of them, and Borough/Parlour where you can describe what you like and they’ll whip up something yummy. I’m overdue on trips to The Strip Club and Saffron, but I am certain that they make delightfully fresh, not-too-sweet concoctions, because all of their drinks are divine.) I don’t miss drinking alcohol, but I miss drinking tasty things. You know? My current fave quicky mocktail is 1/2 strawberry kombucha + 1/2 sparkling water. Dabomb.com, so good, I sip it while I’m making dinner. I’m posting a faux sangria recipe later this week, and I have big plans for not-too-sweet syrups to mix with sparkling water. I’m thinking melon/mint/honey and a Heidi Skoog/Serious Jam-inspired strawberry/balsamic/black pepper beauty. Photo by TJ Turner
(Speaking of Ms. Skoog and her jam – see her fab recipe and learn how to easily make and can Raspberry Summer Jam, seasoned with ginger liqueur, scorched lemon, and orange blossom water! Berry season is upon us and it’s time to make gifts for your future, winter-weary self and family.)