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Autumn Slaw with Fennel, Apple, & Cider Dressing

Posted Oct 08 2010 1:56pm

Happy Friday, everyone!

I'm short on words today: my in-laws are en route for a short visit, I have a cook-off in Houston tomorrow, this weekend is Kevin's birthday, and I am behind in my work. It's the perfect equation for writer's block. And grumpiness. And panic. It's particularly frustrating, as I do have a recipe I'm excited to share. I was tempted to quip little more than "here it is; back to vacuuming," but the star of the recipe--cabbage--deserves better.

In fact, that's the point of this recipe: give cabbage its due. The sweet, crunchy, cruciferous vegetable endures all manner of injustices, ranging from overcooking to the point of stinky slime, to near-death by drowning in slaws. BBQ joints in my adopted state of Texas are notably guilty of the latter malfeasance. At the risk of being tarred, feathered, and run out of town, I contend such slaws are more appropriately named slops.

So here's a slaw worthy of it's gorgeous star. Quick, easy, gorgeous, and loaded with (my) favorite fall flavors: fennel, cranberries, apple, and more apple in the form of an easy cider dressing. Oh, and, ahem, bacon and blue cheese. You can leave these out (why?) and it's still very delicious. It's a perfect side dish to, well...just about everything, in my humble opinion (a certain husband might argue for more restraint). Narrowing the field, it's particularly good with pork or grilled tofu, or in a solo heap for lunch the next day, thank you very much.

The dust bunnies beckon. Cheerio!

Autumn Slaw with Fennel, Apple, and Cider Dressing

This is easily, and deliciously vegan-ized: simply leave out the bacon and blue cheese. There are plenty of bold flavors, so you won't be missing out :)

Makes 6-8 servings

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp apple cider or apple juice
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp salt
black pepper to taste

4 green onions, chopped
1 medium fennel bub, trimmed, thinly sliced (reserve fennel fronds)
1 medium Granny Smith apple, cored, thinly sliced or julienned
6 cups shredded red/purple cabbage
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup crumbled blue cheese
1/4 cup cooked bacon pieces
2-3 tbsp chopped reserved fennel fronds

Dressing: In a small bowl, whisk the vinegar, olive oil, apple juice, mustard, salt, and pepper to taste.

Slaw: In a large bowl, combine the cabbage, fennel, apple and cranberries. Add the dressing, tossing to coat. If serving right away, stir in the blue cheese, bacon, and fennel fronds. Otherwise, chill for 1-2 hours and add the cheese bacon and fronds just before serving.

Vegan Option: leave out the blue cheese and bacon. If desired, add 1/3 cup chopped toasted pecans, almonds, or walnuts.
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