Crunchy cabbage gets slathered in a honey-sweetened vinegar sauce for a barbecue salad recipe that is equal parts crunch and tang, and just slightly sweet.
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” – Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776
The 4th of July, Independence Day, July the 4th, however you choose to style it, rather than be a celebration of independence for the United States (what is independence, really?) has turned its focus to barbecues and swimming. Don’t deny it. When’s the last time you sang “The Star-Spangled Banner” (Saturday here) or hummed a few bars of “I’m Proud to Be an American”? Mm-hmm. Cue the fireworks.
Still, the barbecues and swimming, the explosions of color in the night sky, and general freedom that the 4th of July brings signifies the independence of the country in their own special way. Whether you choose to hit up the ocean beach or canoe across a lake, eat potato salad with or without eggs or forego the potatoes and just go for the pasta salad, slather your beef ribs in tangy sauces or douse pork in mustard sauce, you are free to do as you please.
Likewise, you can choose the mayonnaise-based coleslaw or its tangy cousin. You know you want to invite this one to the party.
Coleslaw is more than just a barbecue side. It functions as barbecued pork sandwich topping, chili dog garnish, pita stuffing, or as a stand-in for sauerkraut. This Carolina-style vinegar slaw is a pickled variety, with a vinegar-based sauce sweetened with a touch of honey (white sugar, if you prefer, can be used here – 1/3 cup), and given depth and bite by adding dry mustard and celery seeds. It’s a nice divergence from the everyday reprise of creamy sweet slaw, and the lack of creaminess means it can stand up to the heat on even the hottest of summer days.
1/2 head red cabbage, finely shredded (or 1 head radicchio for a spicy kick)
1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup white vinegar*
3 tablespoons honey
1/4 cup oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
In a large bowl toss the green cabbage, red cabbage, and red onion until mixed. Set aside.
In a small saucepan combine the vinegar, honey, and oil. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Remove from the heat and stir in the salt, dry mustard, and the celery seed. Allow the dressing to cool slightly. Pour the dressing over the cabbage. Toss to combine.
Allow the slaw to cool, then refrigerate until cold. Serve chilled.
*Apple cider vinegar gives this a slightly sweeter note, if you prefer.
Makes 10-12 servings