Recipe Day- Fennel & Cuke Slaw from A. Woz

bare feet at I T

It is good to see that in 2009 women, should we choose, may cook, may explore recipes , may take pride in throwing on an apron if we wish.

With the same enthusiasm as taking a trip to a foreign country, we test new ingredients, new flavors and we purposely spend time in the kitchen creating something memorable, edible, beautiful even, or we are allowed to simply step back from the stove entirely, and smile while watching someone else give it a go.

Our bodies don’t need all the food that we dream up, but our minds and hearts might.  A good meal provides a transport to conversation. Breaking bread together can take us to a level of pleasure that is acceptable to express in public.  As we experience intense emotions over a sublime flavor, a good recipe gives us permission to reach inside someone else’s personal space and grab their arm and make a connection.

Find those women and cook together if you can. Don’t spend one minute of time eating a meal with people who fail to feed your soul or to fill up your conscience or challenge your mind.  

This recipe is a combination of flavors from the combination of two good friends.

The dressing for this slaw is adapted from one served by my friend Nancy Rohrman.  She poured a slightly sweeter version of it over fresh fruit- blueberries, strawberries, fresh grapes, and pineapple. 

The coleslaw I created in this post was served for the same Red Tent book club that Nancy has been a part of for many years and she phoned-in to join us from a friend’s home in a far away state.  Since we weren’t set up to Skype , we passed the phone around to hear how the transition was going,  did our best to raise our glasses in several toasts in her honor and served an ice-cream dessert on my deck as she scooped out a bowl for herself  in another time zone.

For the fennel part of the slaw,  I owe thanks to another friend, Karen Johnson.  Though I have no doubt that she could turn any fresh ingredient into an excellent meal, I’m giving her credit for the fennel as it first arrived in my weekly community supported agriculture (CSA) farm share, that I pick up from her garage each week in the growing season.  She turned me on to the farm share and I am forever indebted.

The farm delivers 2-3 bulbs of fresh fennel each season as part of a variety of fruits, veggies, eggs and cheeses from a farm co-op out of Blue Mounds. Karen’s garage is the host location for about 100 local families.  When she’s around at pickup time on Thursdays,  I get to chat about good recipes for all these good veggies, some of which I had heard of but would not have recognized, and most certainly I would never have tasted until I joined Vermont Valley Farm. Kohlrabi, turnips, leeks and buttery eggs from free range chickens -that honestly do taste better than what is available in the grocery store-  have all found their way into my recipes. And my mouth is happier for it.

I tested this coleslaw recipe for my family last week and my kids couldn’t believe how much fennel tastes like black jelly beans. Have fun experimenting in your kitchen with this new recipe and cheers to Nancy and Karen. 

Fennel and Cuke Slaw with Sweet Poppyseed Dressing

1 large cucumber, cut in half and sliced with peel

1/2 head of cabbage, chopped

1/4 medium sized red onion, chopped

1/2 cup fresh fennel, diced

1/4-1/2 teaspoon coarse salt

Dressing: 3/4 c sugar, 1/2 c vinegar, 1/3 cup oil, 1 tbsp poppy seeds, 1/2 tsp dijon mustard or 1 1/2 tsp dried mustard.

Slice cukes into bowl, add salt, cover for 1/2 hour,  toss cukes a few times in the brine and after 1/2-1 hr hour, rinse under cool water and drain to remove salt.

Combine the cukes with the rest of the ingredients: cabbage, onion, fennel.

Whisk together ingredients for dressing.  Drizzle over salad, toss to coat.  Let stand for 15 minutes, serve.  Enjoy with a citrusy white wine.

### from child grower Annita Woz.

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One Response

  1. I’ll try it! I can already tell that Husband-O-Mine will like it since he doesn’t like mayonnaise-based dressings.

    Have meant to tell you… I love your feet photos. Very clever!

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