Monday, February 3, 2014

Zesty Zucchini Slaw

zucchini slaw
Cole slaw -- or just plain ol' "slaw" as they call it in the South -- is most commonly made with cabbage. Other vegetables like broccoli, carrots and summer squash can also be shredded or finely chopped to make slaw. In the past, I've even added shredded apple to my homemade slaw. But until recently, I had never made slaw from (or including) zucchini -- and I have no idea why I hadn't thought of doing that before.

Having found only one organic zucchini during a recent early-morning grocery store visit, and realizing that its enormous dimensions (easily over a foot long and a good three inches or more in diameter) most likely meant it would be tough and flavorless, I scrapped my original plans and shredded it for slaw. Instead of ordinary vinegar, I used a tangy western North Carolina (Lexington style) barbecue sauce in my recipe. To my delight, my zucchini slaw was a success and paired nicely with the crock pot BBQ short ribs I served for dinner that night. I bet it would go well on or with anything normally served with cabbage slaw, e.g., on barbecue sandwiches, with fried fish, etc.

3 or 4 zucchini squash*
2 to 3 Tbs NC barbecue sauce (e.g., Jim's Own Homestyle BBQ Sauce or the original Bone Suckin' Sauce)
2 Tbs mayonnaise
About 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

Jim's Own Barbecue Sauce
*I'm guessing that my behemoth of a zucchini would translate into 3 or 4 zucchinis of average grocery-store size. I'm also guessing that it shredded down to at least 3 cups of shredded squash. As with any slaw recipe, use your eyes and taste preferences in determining ingredient ratios, remembering to start with a little less BBQ sauce or vinegar than you think you need because the squash will release some liquid as it sits in the refrigerator.

Use the "coarse shred" side of a box grater or the shredding blade of a food processor to shred the unpeeled zucchini. Combine the shredded zucchini with the remaining ingredients in a large bowl, using the lesser amount of BBQ sauce first. Taste for balance and add more barbecue sauce or mayonnaise if desired (you can also season with salt & pepper to taste if desired, although I found that the barbecue sauce had enough spicing in it to season the slaw adequately). Cover and refrigerate for at least a few hours or overnight. If the slaw appears too watery at serving time, drain off the excess liquid before serving. Makes 4 to 6 servings and tastes even better if refrigerated overnight.

Zestfully yours,

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