Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Vegetable Slaw with Creamy Cashew Dressing

This slaw was going to start out as something totally different--an all kale slaw. I have had kale on the brain you see, because each time I look out my kitchen window I see my kale plants looking back at me. I received my latest issue of Martha Stewart Living which had a recipe for Kale Slaw in it. I loved the idea of using up so much of it. I was a bit worried at the idea of shoving mouthfuls of raw kale in my mouth so I asked The Chef what he thought. He raised an eyebrow and said, yeah, I don't know about that.

So! With that, I took the concept behind Matha's Kale Slaw and morped it into a more traditional cabbage slaw, adding blanched chopped kale, faintly spicy peppers, zippy garden carrots and a very delicious cashew dressing. For good measure, I garnished the slaw with some quick candied cashews.

To serve 6-8 as a side dish:

  • 1 small head green cabbage, cored and sliced into thin ribbons
  • 7-8 large leaves kale, center ribs discarded
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 red jalapenos, seeded and minced
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/3 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup salted cashews
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup candied cashews*

Place the cabbage in a large bowl along with the carrots and jalapenos.

Fill a bowl with ice and water and set aside. Bring a pot of water to a boil, add the kale, and blanch for one minute. Transfer the kale to the ice water to cool. Squeeze dry, chop, and add to the bowl of cabbage. Mix the ingredients together thoroughly.

In a blender add the oil, vinegar, salted cashews, heavy cream, brown sugar and salt. Blend until emulsified and smooth.

*To make the candied cashews, heat a skillet to medium-high and add 2 tablespoons of white sugar and 1 cup of salted cashews. Stir constantly until the sugar melts and the cashews turn golden. Be careful as the cashews will go from golden to burnt in the blink of an eye. Spread the cashews out on a sheet of wax paper to cool.

Before serving, pour the dressing over the slaw and mix thoroughly, adding more dressing if desired (I usually end up using all of it). Sprinkle the candied cashews over the top and serve.

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