Crab season just started and wife Jan asked for a crab dinner. Growing up, her family would cover the table with newspapers and feast on several crabs. Coleslaw is the obvious salad to go with a dinner like this.
For the most part, I try to make may own dressing for salads. However, I have not been able to replicate the flavor of Hidden Valley Ranch’s Coleslaw dressing. We lived just a few miles from the ranch and my mother used their dressing packets before they became a national brand. For me it simply tastes “right” for coleslaw.
Karl’s Colorful Coleslaw with Pecans and Crystallized Ginger
4 cups green cabbage, shredded
2 cups red cabbage, shredded
2 large heirloom yellow carrots
¼ cup Zante currents
½ cup Hidden Valley Ranch Coleslaw dressing
¼ cup pecan bits
¼ cup crystallized ginger, ⅛ inch dice
1. Shred the cabbages finely and place them in a bowl.
Tip: Cut the cabbage into wedges and, starting at the thick end, cut slices as thinly as you can.
Note: Alternatively, a mandoline makes quick work of this process.
2. Peel and coarsely grate the carrot and add it to the bowl.
Tip: I use my trusty box grater.
3. Add the currents to the salad.
Tip: The dry currents will absorb some of the moisture that is released by the vegetables and plump up slightly.
Note: I like to let my coleslaw meld for at least one hour, so that the flavors meld and the cabbage becomes a bit softer. I usually wait to add the pecans and ginger—until just before serving—because I want them to keep their tastes and textures for the contrast.
4. Pour the dressing over the vegetables and toss to mix and coat.
5. Mince the crystallized ginger into ⅛ inch dice and set it aside.
Tip: This task is easier to do if you buy crystallized ginger slices.
6. Toast the pecan bits, until fragrant, over medium heat.
7. Cool the nuts and set them aside.
8. Let the salad meld for at least one hour, tossing it occasionally to redistribute the dressing.
9. Fold in most of the ginger and pecans.
10. Transfer the salad to a serving bowl.
11. Garnish with the remaining crystallized ginger and pecans.
12. Serve slightly chilled.