Napa Coleslaw

The name of this cabbage got me imagining the picturesque landscape of Napa Valley, where I would be picnicking, sipping some locally produced wine and nibbling on artisanal cheeses.  I think this Napa Coleslaw recipe is a different, and I’d like to say elegant, twist on traditional coleslaw that would be worthy of such a beautiful place.

Using napa cabbage instead of red or green cabbage yields a coleslaw that is both crunchy (expected) and tender (unexpected).  I added carrots for a touch of sweetness, mustard for a little zing, and Herbes de Provence–a mixture of culinary lavender, basil, fennel, rosemary, savory, and thyme–to class it up for our Napa Valley picnic.  Or backyard barbecue.  Or wherever.   Instead of store-bought, I prepared homemade mayo to use in the dressing, which is really quick and easy to make.

I didn’t use the entire head of cabbage; I took off the leaves layer by layer until it reached the point that you could eat the leaves in 2-3 bites.  I used those remaining leaves as “spoons” to eat leftovers such as chicken stir-fry with veggies and rice.  If you use the whole head of napa, adjust the dressing accordingly.  Using the full amount of mayo in the recipe definitely coats the slaw, so if you like a lighter dose of dressing, use the lesser suggested amount.  If you don’t plan on using this entire recipe at one time, only add the mayo and mustard to the amount you plan on eating, as the dressing tends to get a little runny on the leftover slaw.

The leaves in the colander are for the recipe, the rest of the head I used as "spoons" for leftovers

Recipe for Napa Coleslaw

1 medium to large head of napa cabbage (leaves pulled off, washed and dried) – Don’t trim the bottoms yet so you have something to hold on to while you slice them

2 cups coarsely grated carrots

6-8 tablespoons mayonnaise (click here for homemade version)

2 heaping teaspoons yellow mustard

1 tablespoon Herbes de Provence – Either use one that has a grinder attached (like the ones on salt and pepper) or carefully chop it up a bit (watch out, the rosemary tends to want to spring up and off the cutting board)

¼ teaspoon sea salt

freshly ground pepper, to taste

Napa cabbage cut into thin strips

Stack several cabbage leaves on top of one another.  Slice the leaves, horizontally, into thin strips.  Combine cabbage and carrots in an oversize bowl.  In a separate bowl, stir together mayo and mustard.  Add a couple spoonfuls of mayo dressing at a time to cabbage and carrots, mixing with tongs, until slaw is thoroughly coated.  Add Herbes de Provence, salt, and pepper, and mix.  Taste and add more spices if necessary.  I added a light sprinkling more of sea salt and another ¼ teaspoon Herbes de Provence.

Hope you enjoy your classy coleslaw! 🙂

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