Fall definitely has a flavor profile. Give your taste buds a half a second, and you’ll be able to come up with a few standard tastes of the season. I guarantee that one of them will be apples. Whether it’s in cider format with doughnuts, or baked into a pie, apples are a must in autumn.
But, when you get a sack full of the fruits of Johnny Appleseed’s sowing, you need to make more than desserts. I am a big fan of apples in salad… the standard mixed greens with apples, dried cranberries, toasted walnuts, and some sort of blue cheese is always a fan favorite. Another favorite of mine came to me courtesy of Cook’s Encyclopedia of 30-Minute Cooking.
Cabbage Slaw with Dates and Apples
- ¼ small white cabbage, shredded
- ¼ small red cabbage, shredded
- ¼ small Savoy cabbage, shredded
- 1 C dried pitted dates
- 3 eating apples
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 2 t caraway seeds
For the dressing:
- ¼ C olive oil
- 1 T cider vinegar
- 1 t honey
- Salt and pepper
Finely shred all the cabbages and place the shredded cabbage in a large salad bowl. (Now, I know it’s a ton cabbage buying for just using a fourth of a head. But, I’ve found a few solutions… One of my regular grocery stores sells halves of cabbage heads wrapped in cellophane. I can buy these and double the recipe. Another solution is to buy a bagged coleslaw mix without carrots. This usually has two of the three cabbage types.)
Chop the dates and add them to the cabbage. Core the apples and slice them thinly into a mixing bowl. Add the lemon juice and toss together to prevent discoloration before adding them to the salad bowl.
Make the dressing. Combine the oil, vinegar, and honey in a screw-top jar. Add salt and pepper, then close the jar tightly and shake well. Pour the dressing over the salad, toss lightly, then sprinkle with the caraway seeds and toss again.
This makes a decent and quick side dish for pork and chicken. It also tastes pretty good on top of hot dogs for that end of season BBQ. It’s easily scalable for large parties, too. And, as you can see, it’s pretty colorful in the bowl.