Vinegar slaw with cucumbers and dill {recipe review}

By | March 27, 2013

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This is no. 2 in a series of recipes that I’ll be testing and sharing from Deb Perelman’s The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook. Deb’s ridiculously popular blog gets millions of page views every month, so if you somehow haven’t yet seen it…you should probably take a peek.

Previously from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook: Peas & shells alfredo

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That alfredo recipe set the bar really high. I remember thinking that if every recipe I tried from this cookbook was as good as that, it was going to be one incredible collection.

Knowing Deb, it probably is an incredible collection. But this vinegar slaw — well, it underwhelmed us.

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I chose to sample the salad chapter with this recipe because of the simple ingredient list and prep requirements. Deb’s recipes are generally not your everyday classics, and many of the other salads called for things I wouldn’t be able to get easily: kale, cranberry beans, miso, and blue cheese come to mind. But cabbage, cucumbers, dill, and vinegar? I could do that.

Here’s the thing, though. When you mix mild veggies with a dressing that has vinegar at its center, you’re going to get a salad with a really strong vinegar taste. Of course, if that’s what you’re looking for in a cole slaw, you’ll be thrilled. But it didn’t really do it for us.

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There’s a cole slaw I make with purple cabbage that uses a soy sauce/honey dressing, and we love it. There’s a cole slaw I make with green cabbage that uses a mustard/sesame dressing, and that one is also always a hit. This slaw wasn’t bad or anything, it was just…okay.

I’ll never get excited about a salad the way I will about an alfredo, but I would have liked to enjoy it as much as — or more than — the other slaws in my rotation.

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Bottom line? The Smitten Kitchen vinegar slaw definitely has its place, perhaps at a chol hamoed barbecue or in the salatim course at a Shabbos or yom tov meal. It’s a cool twist on cole slaw, so even if it’s not your absolute favorite flavor, it’s a great option if you want to add a crunchy, fresh, un-fussy something to a salad spread.

Give it a try and let me know what you think! Meanwhile, I’m going to sample another dish from the book. I’ll report back.

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Recipe at a glance:

  • Accessible ingredients? Yes, especially with the white wine vinegar sitting in my pantry.
  • Multiple steps required? Nope. Whisk dressing, pour over vegetables, and mix.
  • Left with lots of dirty dishes? Nothing excessive.
  • Taste worth the effort? Considering this doesn’t require much effort, I guess so!
  • Make again? Probably not. Although I liked it well enough to have once, I have two other cole slaw recipes that we like a lot more.

One year ago: Iced coffee

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2 Comments

Elisheva on March 28, 2013 at 5:36 am.

Sounds interesting – like more of a twist on classic cucumber salad than coleslaw… Are you by any chance planning on posting your other two slaws? :)

Reply

Tali Simon on March 28, 2013 at 6:12 am.

Eventually!

Reply

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