January 30, 2011
Fennel and Cabbage Slaw
I didn't take any pictures of this dish, so instead we've got some lovely shots of Rugby Boog. She's new to the sport, but seemed to really enjoy being part of a team. Or at least wearing the uniform of one....
Weirdly enough, it has actually been winter since November here in the South, where winter is usually a Jan-Feb occurrence, and mild enough that you start to wish for snow come the first of the year. So I've been craving heavier foods and warm soups for a while now, a natural reaction to less sunlight and colder temperatures. I've even bought salad greens several times fully intending to make a salad but it always sounded too cold. It doesn't help that a winter salad can't have juicy tomatoes and soft, ripe avocados and fresh cucumbers (not here anyway). Even radishes have kind of run their course. But I do love my veggies, and I just can't eat them roasted every day of the week. I wanted something light, bright, and green. And after picking up some grapefruit from the store, I realized I needed a dish my sister has made for many years that I love. It's a fennel and grapefruit salad. The grapefruit is sectioned and tossed with paper thin slices of fennel and red onions, all of it topped with shavings of parmesan. It's simple, refreshing, and incredibly satisfying.
Knowing that I could not recreate her dish exactly (and therefore be left disappointed- which is quite possibly the worst feeling after eating something you've looked forward to...), I decided to get the same flavors in a bowl, but take it in a different direction. Plus, I had some Greek yogurt that needed to be used up. (I am a HUGE fan of designing your menu around what needs to be eaten before it goes bad.)
We had this with the rich bacon jam paninis, and I thought it cut the richness and sweetness of those perfectly. (E complained that it wasn't sweet enough. This is a very common complaint in our house- I never put sweetener (honey, sugar, etc.) in my vinaigrettes, marinara, or sauces. This is completely my personal preference, so feel free to increase the sugar if you want.)
Fennel and Cabbage Slaw
1 cup thinly sliced fennel
1 cup thinly sliced cabbage
1/2 cup sliced carrots (I used a peeler to get super-thin slices)
1/2 grapefruit, sectioned (or supremed if you don't like the pithy bits)
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 small container Greek yogurt (individual size)
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp chopped fennel fronds
1 tsp sugar
Put the fennel, cabbage, carrots, and grapefruit in a bowl. Mix the remaining ingredients together in a separate bowl, tasting for sweetness and salt. Pour over the slaw, mix well, and refrigerate for an hour, stirring occasionally. Then remove to a new bowl (without all the liquid at the bottom so as to prevent sogginess) to store until you serve.
Note- this does not keep very well (the cabbage was 16 kinds of soggy the next day) so unless you have someone (or two or four) to share this with, make half of a recipe.