Traditional coleslaw, dressed with mayonnaise, is a fundamental side dish on summer grilling and picnic menus. We know to find coleslaw on the serving table among its summer-side partners, such as baked beans and corn on the cob. Coleslaw is the workhorse summer salad. Yet, is traditional coleslaw ever really memorable? Can coleslaw be captivating? I’ve recently discovered that with Litehouse Dressings and Instantly Fresh Herbs, coleslaw can be the side dish that starts conversations and inspires memorable meals.
Emphasize Flavors and Create Food Themes As a home cook and food blogger, I play with food and ingredients while cooking meals for my family and when creating recipes for my blog. Before experimenting with the Litehouse salad dressings and Instantly Fresh Herbs, I made coleslaw with primarily traditional ingredients. Now that I’m discovering the array of flavors available in Litehouse “Pourables” dressings and in the fresh taste and texture of the Instantly Fresh Herbs, I’ve found it easy to create “themed” salads and slaws to compliment a variety of food themes for parties or for everyday meals. The recipe for Pink Lady Apple and Jicama Slaw was developed for a New York themed party for a friend who is moving there. Litehouse’s “Fuji Apple Vinaigrette” is light, creamy and perfect for coleslaw that includes fruit. The slightly tart “Pink Lady” apples and the mild flavor of jicama are accented and heightened. The freeze-dried cilantro adds a sweet finish to the slaw. (I added just a few cilantro leaves for garnishing, but it’s optional.) What I love about the Litehouse Instantly Fresh Herbs is they free me to create dishes with herbs and foods that might not be in my kitchen at the time, such as jalapeno peppers or red onion, but that absolutely must be added to a recipe. And, I can see myself wasting less food by substituting the longer-lasting freeze-dried herbs for those I sometimes use sparingly in the kitchen, such as dill.
Honor the Ingredients Beyond food themes, I like to honor the ingredients in recipes with herbs, dressings, and marinades that echo the flavors, textures, and character of various foods. For example, in the Double Sesame Seed Slaw (pictured above), Napa cabbage, snow peas, and black sesame seeds merit a dressing and seasonings that compliment the textures and tastes of those foods. With summer underway, there are as many ways to use Litehouse dressings and Instantly Fresh Herbs as there are salads and slaws that you (and I) can dream of. So make it fresh and make it memorable.