What do you do when your husband informs you that he invited the gang over to enjoy the (finally) warm spring weather with some grillin’ and chillin’? And at first he told you only 2 could come and you didn’t worry about going to the store because you had enough to feed 2 add-ons? And then at nearly the last minute he told you that a bunch more were coming after all?
Since things like this happen often around here (ahem, Honey), I did the usual…a brief panic, then after pulling it together a trip to the store. He was making bread and brats, and I had vegan Field Roast apple sage sausages for me and my veggie friend, so all I needed was a side. Contrary to my husband’s belief that sausage and bread is sufficient to serve at a cookout, it’s not. Ever.
So off I went, in search of a dish big enough to feed a small crowd, easy enough to pull together in about 30 minutes and pretty. Yes, pretty. Hey, if you’re going to slap an ugly sausage and slab of bread on a plate, you had better dress it up with a pretty side – presentation, people! And don’t forget health – love your friends and always, always have veggies.
After seeing this perfect head of cabbage, I knew it would be Simply Slaw. It’s easy, healthy, delicious and pretties up any plate.
While you can use any cabbage for this dish, I recommend savoy – it’s crinkly seersucker leaves provide a beautiful texture, a spectrum of greens, and a more delicate flavor. I like to cut it into ribbons rather than shredding it – the substantial pieces give it more elegance – and if you’re serving sausage as a main dish, you need all the elegance you can get, even at an impromptu cookout.
I often use grapes and apples in this recipe because they are always available and firm fruits hold up well in salads – I like a tart apple and a sweet grape – but will also mix it up depending on what fruit or veggies I have on hand or what looks good at the store or farmers market.
Tossing in a special ingredient here and there is fun, and this time it was wild chives. They grow in little tufts in our yard and many people don’t know that these weeds are edible. They are delicious and compared to garden variety chives their flavor is more mild with more zing at the same time if that makes any sense. I realize it probably doesn’t, so you’ll just have to try them yourself if you have them around. Be sure you have the right plant and avoid areas that have been treated with chemicals or that are along paths frequented by dogs.
Simply Slaw is a great thing to make if you’re short on time and if your husband is hogging counter space making bread (love the bread!) and bonus, it makes super left overs so be sure to make more than enough.
1 head savoy cabbage
5 honeycrisp apples
1 large cluster of red grapes
1 small-medium sweet onion
1 handfull of wild chives
black pepper to taste
1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
1/4 c. apple cider vinegar
2 T. dijon mustard
3 heaping T. Veganaise
Slice cabbage into thin ribbons. Slice apples into thin slices then cut those in half. Halve grapes. Thinly slice onion, then chop a little more. Toss all in large mixing bowl. Wisk dressing ingredients together, pour in and mix well. Dressing should only lightly coat the slaw mixture – don’t drown your slaw! Make and add additional if necessary. This ultimately depends on the size of the cabbage and fruit. Finally, sprinkle in chopped wild chives, black pepper and mix well. Refrigerate until time to serve.