Calico slaw

I've always liked the word calico. It echoes long forgotten kitchen aprons and oven mitts, warm mottled cats snuggled up by the wood stove. It's long since fallen out of fashion, but I can't help loving it still.

So when I found a recipe for Calico slaw, you can imagine I was charmed from the start. I dug it up online, on one of those endless recipe search sites, and copied it down immediately. The only trouble was, once I started paying attention, I didn't really like the creation.

I began shifting things around, hoping to keep the calico pattern of the slaw but change the ingredients a bit. I wanted a turnip slaw, not cabbage, and apples rather than green peppers. Carrots and onion I kept, and mixed up a bit of cilantro, oil, and cider vinegar in place of the ubiquitous "salad dressing" the recipe had in mind.

The resulting salad was very, very good, I have to say. It was tangy and salty, a bit sweet, and clean in the mouth when the cilantro rang in. The turnips were sweet and earthy, the apples perfectly crisp, and the carrots so fresh they practically jumped in my mouth.

I ate it for lunch yesterday, and again after breakfast today, and at this point, it's nearly gone. I don't know about you, but I can't think of a better way to eat half a turnip, 5 carrots, an onion, and an apple. I've certainly had my vegetables for the day.


Serves 4

Mix together 4 cups grated Eastham turnip (about 1/2 medium turnip), 2 cups grated carrot (about 5 medium carrots), 1 cup grated white onion (about 1 medium onion), and 1 cup grated apple (about 1 and 1/2 pieces fruit). Toss with 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped fine, and a dressing of 1/2 cup olive oil, 1/2 cup cider vinegar, and sugar, salt, and pepper to taste. Serve chilled.
*P.S. : If you make this slaw in mid-winter (as my mother just did), do not, I repeat, DO NOT grate the vegetables. Being a bit less firm than they might have been in the fall, they will simply turn to mush. Instead, julienne them into long, thin strips. This will yield a much better texture come February.


Anonymous said...

This looks fabulous! And I agree -- it's a wonderful name, too. I can't wait to try this, especially since I am inundated w/ root crops from our winter farmshare.
~xoxo, Mama

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