According to Ben Friedman of Homegrown Sandwiches in Fremont the secret to good slaw starts with the best ingredients. He says, "Slaws break down so much over their one to three day curing that if you don't start with the freshest cabbage, carrots, fennel, etc., you'll end up with something soggy. The magic balance is to get the deep flavor that comes with curing over time and maintaining the crunch."
For their South Carolina slaw, named such because it relies on vinegar and mustard just like the state's bar-b-que, Homegrown also relies on apple cider vinegar, the ultimate secret ingredient to good slaw. "Using enough apple cider or champagne vinegar also helps keep the slaw from browning," say Ben. The shop skips the mayonnaise to keep all the sides vegan to accommodate their customers (you won't miss it). The recipe after the jump is a version on the classic carrot and red cabbage slaw, with the apple-like jicama thrown in to add some different texture (you could also use apple).
Yields: One large bowl, approx. 24 servings
1 head of red cabbage, finely shredded
2 jicama, chopped into fine matchsticks
¾ cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
Juice of one lime
½ teaspoon ground cumin
Sugar, to taste
Salt & pepper, to taste
Peel skin from carrots and then use the peeler to create shreds of carrot about the size of your finger (to match the cabbage). In a large bowl toss together the carrot and the cabbage. In a small bowl whisk together the vinegar, mustard and lime juice. It should taste super tangy, if not a little too sour. You can adjust with a teaspoon of sugar if necessary.
Make it early in the day, and let it sit in the fridge for at least six hours (ideally overnight) to marry the flavors. The vegetables will soften up just a little bit and be easier to eat. If you like your slaw really crunchy or intend to let it sit in the fridge for at least a day, you can chop the carrots instead of shaving them and save the jicama to add at the last minute. It also tastes great with a little peanut sauce and ground peanut added.