More and more, I am finding myself making salads that are more structured, with cabbage and other items, as many recipes are not eaten within one day in my house, and I find myself eating at the leftovers for a couple of days. When I came across this recipe for coleslaw (which I have not always loved), I knew I wanted to try to make it. In this case, I found the heat of the flavor to be a decent background note, and note at the forefront of the food I was eating, which I appreciated. Mark Bittman, it seems, is not a fan of mayonnaise-based coleslaw, so this was a good opportunity to make a salad without a mayo creaminess.
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard, or more to taste
2 Tbsp lemon juice, or more to taste
1 tsp minced garlic
1 Tbsp minced fresh chile (like jalapeno)
1/4 c vegetable oil
1 medium Napa cabbage
1 large red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and chopped
4 medium scallions, chopped
salt and fresh ground black pepper
Whisk together the mustard, lemon juice, garlic and chile in a large bowl. Drizzle in the oil a little at a time, whisking constantly, so that the mixture comes together and emulsifies (or puree the ingredients in a blender, and transfer to a large bowl.)
Trim or pull the outer leaves from the cabbage and then remove the core with a paring knife. Switch to a chef’s knife and cut the cabbage into halves or quarters, then thinly slice each piece. The slices will naturally fall into shreds.
Add the cabbage, bell pepper, and scallions to the bowl, and toss to combine. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour to let the flavors mellow and the cabbage soften and exude some juice.