Have you met this handsome devil? Savoy cabbage is a new acquaintance to me, more glamorous than the cabbage I'm used to. I love how frilly the leaves are. To me, all those unfolding petals are dramatic and mysterious. But I was the kid who sat in the back seat on the way home from the grocery store peeling off every layer of an onion because I wanted to see what was inside.
Answer: a smaller onion.
Besides being really really good-looking, it turns out that Savoy cabbage is a utilitarian choice as well. It stays ridiculously crunchy in slaw, which makes it ideal for traveling to pot-luck grill outs and picnics.
I didn't realize it until after I made this slaw, but there are some important cole-slaw ideological camps. Creamy or not? Sweet or not? Your answer may alienate you from family and friends. In my opinion, sugar doesn't belong in a salad, but creaminess is part of the iconic slaw experience. So be bold - do not skip the sour cream (or even some whole fat plain yogurt). I really missed it.
And now for the tinkering that I did with the recipe below: I doubled the recipe, because it originally called for only 1/2 a head of cabbage. (However, soon I'll be sharing a braised cabbage recipe from the cookbook that is totally delicious, and that would be a great use for the other half.) My preference was to use only half of the sugar, and I think you could even leave it out entirely. Serrano peppers can really vary in heat, so if you use this ingredient I suggest seeding the pepper, and tasting carefully as you go. And finally, I had trouble finding pepitas in my local store to use as a garnish, but sunflower seeds are a reasonable substitute.
Why not serve it with a large portion of expertly grilled meat? If you head to a Memorial Day picnic with this slaw, don't forget to keep it cold because it contains dairy. Have a great long weekend!
"Go Green" Simple, Sassy Slaw
Adapted from Susie Middleton's Fast, Fresh & Green
1 small head of savoy cabbage
2-4 Tbsp of sour cream
6 Tbsp lime juice
2 tsp sugar (optional)
1 tsp kosher salt
4 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
4 Tbsp. diced scallions
1 diced serrano pepper (to taste, and optional)
3 to 4 Tbsp toasted pepitas or sunflower seeds (optional garnish)
1. Core the cabbage and slice it thinly.
2. Stir together the cabbage, sugar (if using), salt, and lime juice. Allow to sit for about twenty minutes, and stir it a few times.
3. Add in the sour cream, scallions, serrano, & cilantro, and sprinkle with the toasted seeds.
This is the seventh fabulous recipe I've made from Fast, Fresh & Green by Susie Middleton, a cookbook so awesome that I am cooking my way through all the recipes. Sue's online home is Six Burner Sue, where you can find her hard at work running a vegetable farm on Martha's Vineyard and developing recipes for a second cookbook that will be called Fresh & Green for Dinner.