Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Gingered Apple-Cheddar Slaw

Apple season is upon us!  I live in upstate New York, where many apple varieties were "born" (Cortland, Macoun, Empire, Jonagold and Jonamac, just to name a few), so I always try to take advantage of the abundance of local apples available at this time of year. 

Tonight, I made the Spiced Pork Tenderloin with Sautéed Apples from Cooking Light: it uses apples, apple cider, shallots (which we have from our CSA), and thyme (which we have in the garden).  Although the weather has been much cooler lately, and I've been craving warm, homey food, I decided the side dish would be a recipe I picked up at the NY State Fair last year and have really been wanting to try: Gingered Apple-Cheddar Slaw. This recipe, which was provided by Cabot Cheese, appealed to me, but I felt it needed some changes.  

Rainbow salad in a bag
For one thing, I was surprised when I realized that this "slaw" doesn't actually include any vegetables.  It's just, basically, apples and cheese, unless you count cilantro as a veggie. So, to increase the nutritional content (and the crunch factor), I added in a bag of "rainbow slaw" (also called "rainbow salad") from my local grocery store (this is the pre-cut mix that includes broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, and cabbage).  I use this stuff all the time; it's so easy to add a handful to a salad or a wrap!

Since the volume that the dressing had to cover was now much greater, I decided to increase the mayonaise, rice vinegar, and ginger.  I also added some spice to the dressing to give it more flavor. 

Although I was a little afraid that cheese might be weird in this slaw, I was amazed at how perfectly the flavors complimented each other. This recipe is unique and really good.  I think it'd made a really fun dish to bring to a picnic.  For now, I'm just glad that my husband is out of town so I don't have to share. 

Gingered Apple-Cheddar Slaw
Adapted from a recipe by the same name from Cabot Cheese 
Serves 6

Ingredients for Dressing:
1/3 cup mayonnaise (can use low-fat Greek yogurt for some/all of this, if desired)
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
1/2 teaspoon of Roasted Ground Ginger
1/2 teaspoon of Lawry's Seasoning Salt
1/2 teaspoon of granulated garlic

Ingredients for Slaw:
1 Honeycrisp or Pink Lady apple
4 ounces Cabot Sharp Light Cheddar, coarsely grated (about 1 cup)
2 teaspoons finely grated peeled fresh ginger (if you can find some local ginger, use it. The taste difference is amazing!)
1 package of rainbow slaw (or rainbow salad)

1. Put the ingredients for the dressing in a Ball canning jar. Screw on the lid and shake until combined. 

2. Cut apple into quarters and cut away core. Cut quarters into thin slices, then stack several slices and cut into matchsticks. Place in medium bowl.

3. Add cheese, ginger, and rainbow slaw to bowl.

4. Add dressing and toss gently to combine.

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