I suppose, to be precise, as Thompson and Thomson would say, this is a slaw. But it’s a light slaw, because it involves no mayonnaise. It’s incredibly easy to make, and very versatile. You could add other vegetables that you like, sprouts might be good! Or you could add cilantro leaves or fresh basil. If I’d had fresh basil I would most certainly have added it. This dressing for this salad is a step in my constant journey to find a balance of sweet, spicy, tart and savory flavors.
I’ve realized, recently, that I describe lots of food I make as “bright.” I use the word a lot! I’d better find a new one. In the meantime, here’s Horace Andy using the word in True Love Shines Bright. What a voice!!
1/2 head napa cabbage
1 carrot – peeled and grated
1/2 cucumber, cut into matchsticks
1 large handful of roasted cashews (1/2 a cup, maybe?) chopped
1 smaller handful golden raisins (1/4 cup, maybe?) chopped
2 t capers
fresh basil leaves, if you have them!
2 T olive oil
1 T brown or raw sugar
1 clove garlic – minced
1/2-inch cube ginger, grated or minced
1 t basil
1 t red pepper flakes (or to taste)
1 T dijon mustard
juice of half a lime
1 t balsamic vinegar
1 t tamari
lots of ground pepper
Warm the olive oil in a small saucepan. Add the garlic and ginger, cook for a minute or two. Add the sugar. When it starts to melt, take the pan off the heat. At this point the sugar will probably all clump up against the ginger and garlic, and it won’t look very hopeful at all. Fear not! Once you add the mustard, it will melt submissively into a creamy texture. Add everything else, and mix well. Taste for saltiness, pepperiness, hot pepperiness, and liminess, and add more of whatever it needs to taste good to you. Add enough water to make it a pourable consistency (you might not need any – depends on how thick you like it!)