During the winter months, one of the things New York City and Costa Rica have in common is a small selection of interesting veggies. Yes, yes, New York, squash and root vegetables are great. And yes, Costa Rica, we all love bell peppers and avocados. But after a few months of the stuff, my belly wants more.
I know I've hit rock bottom when I start to fantasize about Whole Foods. Row after row of colorful (if totally tasteless) exotic, out-of-season produce. Oh the variety!
Oh the misery!
Just when I think I can't take it any more, I remember my good friend, the simple Slaw. I'm not talking about the mayo-drenched, soggy, strangely sweet stuff of summer barbeques. No! I'm talking crunchy, zingy, colorful, and unexpected. Like the friendly, easily overlooked neighbor-next-door, this Slaw is a total undercover hottie.
Ok, enough. On to the recipe. The version featuring Granny Smith apple can be made in the winter in NYC. The other, with the addition of mango, is her more exotic, Costa Rican cousin. They are both extra flavorful, and will add texture and color to any meal.
1 head of purple cabbage, shredded
1 large carrot, peeled into ribbons
1 Granny Smith apple, cut into matchsticks
1 just-ripe mango, cut into matchsticks.
1 inch fresh ginger, grated
2 pieces pickled chilies, minced* (or a good squirt of Siracha hot sauce will do)
Juice of two limes
1 T Honey
Generous pinch of salt (taste it!)
1/4 cup chopped cilantro or parsley
Prep the vegetables and put together in a large mixing bowl. Add the ginger, chilies, salt, lime juice and honey. Massage the veggies with your hands until they tenderize and the dressing is fully mixed in. Finish with parsley or cilantro. Great fresh, but even better the next day.
* I made my own quick pickled chili peppers by slicing and de-seeding super hot Costa Rican cherry peppers (use gloves when handling the seeds) and simply packing them with some coarse ground sea salt. Leave them in the fridge for a few days, and you've got a nice, spicey bite to add to anything you like.