Side Dishes

Rainy day cabbage, pineapple and strawberry salad

I can’t call this salad a coleslaw because the dressing doesn’t contain mayonnaise. If you’re wondering why the Asian coleslaw in the archive does not contain mayo either but is called coleslaw anyway, well, I didn’t name it. The source of the recipe is provided in that entry and I simply made my version of the salad while retaining the name from the original recipe.

But since this salad is something I dreamed up myself, I get to name it. And I like descriptive names. It is a salad, it contains shredded cabbage, pineapple tidbits and sliced fresh strawberries among other things. And it is rainy today. So, it’s my rainy day cabbage, pineapple and strawberry salad. Tangy, sweet and full of wonderful textures and colors.

casaveneracion.com Cabbage, pineapple and strawberry salad

Just like the coleslaw, it is meant to be a side dish for grilled meat — pork steak, in my case. But unlike the traditional coleslaw which uses shredded raw cabbage, I blanched my cabbage for a couple of minutes then dunked it in iced water before squeezing out the liquid. Just so the salad won’t turn watery later.

So, what else is in the salad aside from cabbage, pineapple and strawberry? Shredded carrot, parsley flakes and cubed cucumber. The seeds of the cucumber were scraped off for the same reason that I blanched the cabbage and squeezed out the excess water. Much of the water content of the cucumber is in the seeds so, by removing them, I get rid of a lot of the water.

But why bother removing so much water? If the salad dressing were a thick emulsion like mayonnaise, I normally wouldn’t bother. But the dressing that I made to go with the vegetables and fruits is very thin — a mixture of olive oil, pineapple syrup, vinegar, salt, sugar, pepper and chili flakes. So, all the excess water had to go.

casaveneracion.com Cabbage, pineapple and strawberry salad

Ingredients

  • half of a large white cabbage, cored and shredded
    1 carrot, peeled and shredded
    1 cucumber, peeled, seeds scraped off and the flesh cut into half-inch cubes
    1 small can of pineapple tidbits, drained and syrup reserved
    8 fresh strawberries, trimmed, then sliced thinly
    1 tsp. of dried parsley flakes

    For the salad dressing:

    4 tbsps. of pineapple syrup
    4 tbsps. of rice vinegar
    3 tbsps. of sugar
    4 tbsps. of extra virgin olive oil
    salt, to taste
    freshly ground black pepper, to taste
    a pinch of dried chili flakes

Instructions

  1. Place all the salad dressing ingredients in a jar with a screw-type cap. Shake until the sugar and salt dissolve. Set aside.

    Boil water in a large pot. Dump the shredded cabbage and push gently to submerge. When the water boils once more, turn off the heat. Pour the cabbage into a strainer then transfer to a bowl of iced water. Stir lightly. Take fistfuls of cabbage and squeeze out as much of the water as you can.

    Put the squeezed cabbage into a large mixing bowl with the rest of the ingredients. Using your hands, toss lightly to distribute the ingredients evenly. Pour in the salad dressing, tossing some more.

    Serve the salad with grilled meat or fish and have a lovely meal.

Cooking time (duration): 20 minutes

Number of servings (yield): 4

Meal type: supper

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