brussel fennel apple slaw
The days are warming, the sun stays up longer and the grill is getting readied for the season, right? Well, I guess that’s what’s happening in the other areas of the country. Here in South Florida – it’s hot and our grill is in perpetual motion.
And whatever you’re grilling this season you need some go-to sides that you can count on. Slaw has always been a favorite of ours. A crunchy, slightly acidic, mildly sweet foil to sticky barbecue glazed chicken, thick juicy burgers or low and slow smoked ribs. You need something to cut the fat and slaws deliver!
Now there is absolutely nothing wrong with those ready-shredded cabbage, carrot blends. I use them for just a smidge of added crunch on shrimp tacos or to augment a salad. But if we’re hosting a barbecue or making the effort with ribs slow-smoked and lovingly tended for six hours, then we deserve better than packaged slaw.
I step out of the comfort zone with brussel sprouts — they’re like little cabbages after all. Fennel adds a crunchy sweet anise note and granny smith apples add that tangy snap. I added toasted fennel seeds into a traditional sugar, vinegar and mayonnaise dressing.
With a little grated carrot and crunchy toasted almonds, this slaw leaps from the ordinary, meh side and into the quintessential go-with for those ribs, chicken and burgers. Top your pulled pork with it.
You can grate your veg by hand, but if you’ve got a good food processor, make quick work of the task with its lightning fast shredding power. And enjoy the glorious results!
- 3/4 pound brussel sprouts, roots trimmed, shredded
- 1 granny smith apple, (skin on) seeded and cored, shredded
- 1 carrot, peeled and shredded
- 1/2 fennel bulb, cored and shredded
- squeeze of lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon fennel seed
- 4 teaspoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds
- Preheat oven to 350. Lay almonds in a single layer on a sheet pan. Bake for 6-8 minutes until lightly toasted. Set aside.
- There's a lot of shredding in this slaw -- for the ultimate ease - use the shredder attachment on your food processor. Otherwise, a box grater or mandoline work well.
- Combine the shredded brussel sprouts, apple, carrot and fennel in a large bowl. Add a the lemon juice and toss to combine.
- In a small skillet, toast the fennel seeds until warm, fragrant, and beginning to pop. Remove from heat and use a mortar and pestle, spice grinder or a heavy rolling pin to crush the seeds.
- Transfer the fennel to a small bowl and add the sugar and vinegar. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Add the mayonnaise and stir to combine.
- Add the mayonnaise mixture to the slaw and toss thoroughly to combine.
- Just before serving, sprinkle with the almonds -- if you add them too early, they'll get soft.