It's not everyday your new boyfriend meets your family. In my case it had been almost 8 years since a person of significance met my mama. Long time, but well worth the wait. K and I have been romantically intertwined for the past two glorious months (we met on a blind date on Easter Sunday - how very urban legend, I know) and it was time for my family to see who has been making me so damn happy lately. Ideally, it would have gone down in my backyard, over barbecue and booze. But then the rains came and didn't let up. My tiny house wouldn't have held all of the adults and little humans and hungry cats, so we packed up the food and took it over to mom's larger house, just three short blocks away. Hugs and handshakes later, it was as I knew it would be. A perfect meeting.
Soon the kids were giving K high-fives and puzzles were played and stories told. For the feast there was chicken, tender from the buttermilk and garlic marinade. Lemon roast potatoes were just how you want them, crispy on the outside but creamy in the middle. But this slaw even had two year old Maggie falling for it. With a wisp of the purple veg hanging from her lips she said "Mama why don't you feed me more cabbage?" we all looked at each other and roared. For the evening's entertainment three year old Olivia
Take a look at these ingredients. Cabbage of the red and Napa variety; magnificent mango; fresh herbs like basil, mint and cilantro too; limes for the vinaigrette. It's simple, uncomplicated food. Just how I like it! The original recipe from Plenty, by Yotam Ottolenghi (I have raved about this book before, back when this salad appeared here) called for simmering lemongrass to make the vinaigrette. But I won't do that to you. Who has time to simmer lemongrass in summer? This slaw is just slice and squeeze and shake and done. The maple lime vinaigrette is bright and sweet (just like my handsome man) and complements the crunch of the slaw super well. You can add fresh chili pepper to the slaw for extra freshness, but be sure to maybe omit the sriracha in the dressing or the heat may be too much. Garnish with roasted peanuts and this could be the salad of the summer. Like a certain fella, it has won my heart.
Mango Coleslaw with Maple Lime Vinaigrette
1/2 head red cabbage, finely shredded
7 leaves of Napa cabbage, finely shredded
1 mango, cut into thin strips
1/2 red pepper, diced
1/4 cup fresh mint, shredded
1 1/2 cups fresh cilantro and/or basil, shredded
1 red chili pepper, seeded and diced (optional)
1/2 cup roasted peanuts
juice of 3 limes
4 tbsp maple syrup
3 tbsp sesame oil
2 tsp soy sauce
2 tsp sriracha sauce or chili garlic sauce
5 tbsp canola oil
salt to taste
In a large bowl, combine the salad ingredients. Put the dressing ingredients in a jar with a tight fitting lid and shake it like the dickens. Pour over the salad and toss well. Adjust seasonings and garnish with roasted peanuts. Adapted from Plenty, by Yotam Ottolenghi.