Very very close to the sour slaw served at Highland Park Cafeteria. A tart palate refresher to enjoy with fried chicken or a plate of barbecue.
1 medium head cabbage (2-3 pounds) shredded then chopped into 1 inch lengths
1/4 c (approximate) Kosher salt
1 green pepper finely chopped, seeds and pith removed
1 medium tomato finely chopped, seeds and pith removed
1 c water
1 c cider vinegar
1 T brown sugar
1 T poppyseed
1/4 cup vegetable oil, optional*
1/2 t ground black pepper, optional*
Method: Dump the shredded cabbage into a good sized stainless or glass bowl. Add salt and work in with your fingers till salt and cabbage are thoroughly combined. Cure for 30-60 minutes, or until the cabbage is still crunchy but has lost its funky aroma, thrown off a good amount of liquid, and has shrunk somewhat in volume. Wash in several changes of water until salt is completely rinsed away. Drain in a colander.
Combine the dressing ingredients in a jar and shake till thoroughly dissolved. Place the cabbage, peppers and tomatoes in a container with a tight fitting lid (I use a big Ziploc disposable plastic tub) and pour the dressing over them. Cover and shake to marinate. Allow to cure at least 4 hours turning several times so all the ingredients get even exposure to the marinade. Extra slaw will keep up to a week in your refrigerator.
Note: the initial cure gets rid of excessive cabbage-y flavor and is the key to great sour slaw. You can experiment to find the curing time that works best for your taste. Also, savoy cabbage with thinner leaves cures faster than thick red or green cabbage. The good news is that will all taste great; enjoy it now, then fine-tune if you like next time you make the slaw.
*These ingredients are never used at Highland Park Cafeteria, but I’ve decided they enhance the flavor combination.