It’s been hot around here.
I know, I know–those of you in the southern hemisphere are rolling your eyes right now. But I feel the teensiest bit of gloating is acceptable, given how eye-rolly I get when the other half of this blog posts about delightfully warm things in December and it’s been raining for three weeks up here and I can’t get the wet dog smell out of my house even though we don’t have a dog. So: it’s been hot and sunny and dry and when it’s like this, I crave salads. The crunch and juice and cold and quench. Some with dressing, some without. Leafy salads and potatoey salads and coleslaws and grain-based salads. Maybe a good baguette to accompany. Simple things done well.
So here’s what I made today, as Little e taught her family of rubber duckies how to build a block tower and The Tiger hypnotised himself with a slinky.
It’s one of those deceptively simple coleslaws that’s almost not even a recipe, more of a method, especially when you’ve made it a few times. But the result is so juicy, so wonderfully astringent and satisfying, you’ll wonder where it’s been all your life. At least I did.
I love cucumber in salad and I love it pickled, so the first time I made this slaw, I did as the recipe suggested. But I have a toddler whose vegetable of choice is cucumber, so I thought I’d audition a different slaw-friendly vegetable to make sure I didn’t run out of cukes for the little darling’s lunches. I found that carrots not only work (carrot + dill = yum), it also added a lovely shot of colour to the salad that I daresay satisfied my eyes as well as my stomach.
This slaw is from Deb Perelman of Smitten Kitchen’s wonderful cookbook and I urge you to try all the salads she offers in it because they made my summer last year, and I’m fixing to have that happen again…
adapted from the Smitten Kitchen Cookbook
1 medium head cabbage (about 2 pounds) cored and thinly sliced/shredded
4 medium carrots, grated or peeled into ribbons (enough to make 2 cups)
2 tablespoons fresh dill, finely chopped
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons salt
4 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup cold water
Whisk together the dressing ingredients and stir in the 1/2 cup water. Toss the cabbage, dill and carrots togther in a large bowl, then pour on the dressing and mix well. Let everything sit in the refrigerator for an hour or two before serving. The flavour and crunch get better with time, so don’t plan on eating it right away if you can help it.