We love cabbage here on the homestead. To the point where it is a rare occasion that we do not have a head in our crisper drawer. During the winter we mostly cook with it, though I always try to keep a big ziploc of the red variety, roughly shredded, to add to our salads. The extra crunch, color, and nutrition is always a welcome addition. In the summer, we mostly enjoy this brassica in good 'ol cole slaw (more on that later), and this year we finally grew our own.

I was amazed at how beautiful the cabbages were.

I had help on harvest day.

Each boy wanted to cut his own.

We trimmed off the outer leaves...

....and gave them to the chickens.

OK, now let's talk slaw. Unlike my favorite podcasters, we delight in slaw and eat it almost every week in the summer. We now have three preparations in our rotation and pick a version based on what it is accompanying. This first one is our regular "goes-with-anything" recipe. It is very much a little of this, a little of that kind of thing, but I actually measured what I did when I took these pictures to give you a basic idea. But really, mess around with it to fit your taste. Also, depending on how much veg you use, you might not need as much dressing (or you may need more). Helpful, I know.

I thinly slice the cabbage (a whole small or half a large) and shred 2 carrots on a box grater. The dressing is:  1 Tbs honey, ¼ cup cider vinegar, 1Tbs whole grain mustard, ½ tsp celery seed, 1 tsp caraway seed, 2 Tbs mayo, and salt & pepper to taste; whisked until smooth. 

Taste the dressing. Adjust as needed. Pour it over the veggies*. Toss & serve.

*This slaw isn't always as good after a day or two. If you think you will end up with a lot leftover, you can halve the recipe OR dress as much slaw as needed for the meal while reserving (separately) some of the veg & dressing to be combined later in the week.

The next version happened kind of by accident and is now part of the regular rotation. It all started when I was strapped for time and needed a quick veg side. Cue the aforementioned bag of shredded cabbage I keep in my crisper! I added our favorite summer salad dressing and called it a side. The quick slaw turned out OK, but wasn't spectacular. I decided to try again, incorporating the other elements of the recipe the dressing came from. Now we had a home run. 

The dressing is from Smitten Kitchen's AMAZING broccoli salad. The dressing is so tasty that I started to make it just to keep on hand for our regular salads. My only change is that I replace the shallot with spring garlic when it is season and garlic chives when it is not. Honestly, any herb or combo of herbs would be delicious (homemade ranch, anyone?).

I suppose it makes sense that it is as good with cabbage as with broccoliyou are simply exchanging one crucifer for another.

I thinly slice one small or half a large head of cabbage, chop a half of a red onion (somewhat finely), and toss in about a cup of dried cranberries. 

Pour the dressing over the fruit & veg and toss to combine. It is best if it can be made a little ahead of time so the cranberries release some of their sweetness. How much dressing? Well, I make a double batch to keep on hand, but a single is probably plenty for the cabbage slaw. You may even have extra. However, I would urge you to make more and keep it for salad. It is especially good on spinach!

The green from the garlic chives and the red from the onion & cranberries look really pretty against the almost white cabbage. The picture really doesn't do it justice. 

The last slaw is an Asian slaw. This is the one we make all year long. It comes from a recipe for "warm cabbage salad with crispy tofu" found in Cook's Illustrated's "The Best Skillet Recipes" cookbook. It is our favorite way to eat tofu, but it is a little labor intensive so I will make the slaw as a side for other dinners, too. Specifically, the pad thai from the same cookbook or even just (store bought frozen) steamed Asian dumplings.

The dressing is 3Tbs veg oil, 2tsp minced garlic cloves, 5Tbs rice vinegar, 2Tbs fish sauce, 2Tbs sugar, 1-2tsp Asian chili sauce (I use a few squirts of sriracha). You cook the garlic in the oil until fragrant, but not browned, then add that to the other ingredients and whisk to combine. I make the dressing ahead of time, as I do not serve the slaw warm.

The slaw is made up of thinly sliced cabbage (again, one small or half a large), 2 shredded carrots, a bunch of chopped cilantro, and a bunch of thinly sliced scallions. There is too much dressing for the slaw because some is meant to be spooned over the tofu. I never serve it that way, so I save it to use as a dipping sauce or reserve it to make a tiny batch of slaw.

The recipe calls for chopped unsalted peanuts. I serve them on the side if I expect leftovers. No one likes a soggy peanut. No one.