I haven't always liked coleslaw. I worked at a bakery when I was younger, and for years afterwards, the mere mention of mayonnaise was enough to turn up my nose.
Other people liked the spread on everything: slathered in thick gobs across perfectly good sandwich bread, yellowed and jiggly against their tuna salad (which, I cannot help but point out, already has plenty mayo in it), and even—and this may have been my breaking point—on cinnamon swirl breakfast toast. Needless to say, the thought of adding it to perfectly good vegetables was not something I could condone.
Until I began making my own mayonnaise this winter. The process of actually whisking egg and oil into suspension myself reversed my aversion almost instantly, lending the spread a newfound aura of magic and reverence, and bringing it back onto my plate.
Last night's slaw brought yet another incarnation of my beloved condiment. After grating a small green cabbage and heap of candy radishes, a few carrots from the garden and a sweet, red onion, I whisked together egg and oil in anticipation of a dressing. From the cupboard I pulled a jar of Cape Cod cranberry drizzle—a flavored cider vinegar sold by Joan Massi at the mid-Cape farmers' market—and added it to the mix.
The pink, creamy mayo drizzled thin over the vegetables, and with a pinch of salt, a sprinkling of toasted watermelon seeds, and a few hot peppers, the salad was ready. Not only did I fill my bowl; upon finishing one course I hurried back for another.
PINK & GREEN SUMMER SLAW
Chop 1 small, green cabbage into thin strips. Mix with 3 grated candy-stripe radishes, 4 small grated carrots, 1 small thinly sliced red onion, 2 small finely minced hot peppers, and several tablespoons toasted watermelon or squash seeds (optional).
In a separate bowl, whisk together 1 egg yolk and 1 cup oil, adding oil very slowly at first and whisking constantly until the mixture becomes opaque (then oil can be added more quickly). Mix mayo with 1/4 to 1/2 cup cranberry drizzle vinegar, to taste. Toss over slaw and add salt and pepper to taste. Serve chilled or at room temperature.