Haidee's birthday menu: salad course! Fig balsamic cashew butter 'slaw.

Fig balsamic cashew butter 'slaw - a super easy, food processor salad that looks and tastes way fancier than it is and that you can make ahead. Keeps for days in the fridge; sweet, salty, and rich.

Fig balsamic cashew butter 'slaw - a super easy, food processor salad that looks and tastes way fancier than it is and that you can make ahead. Keeps for days in the fridge; sweet, salty, and rich.

As per my last post here, I had the honour of hosting one of my very favourite people - Haidee, the lady lifter with healing hands - for her birthday dinner!

We're onto the salad course (see Part One for "Haidee's birthday menu: main course! Spaghetti squash with ground beef tarragon marinara). The salad was a fig balsamic cashew butter coleslaw made entirely, in about 5 minutes, in the food processor.  You could do this manually if you are without a food processor, but for the $50 for a pretty darned great machine (I have this Hamilton Beach one) it might be worth buying one to skip hand shredding and mixing. Plus you get to make your own nut butter - which is SO crazy satisfying and delicious and avoids any nasty solvent-extracted vegetable oils, plus when you make it yourself you get to lick the spatula!

(A long aside regarding food processors: I know if you are cooking for 1-2 people only, it is tempting to get smaller appliances.  I would not get anything smaller than a 10 cup food processor.  You will want to make bigger batches of stuff, like shredding veggies for a whole week, plus the little guys are underpowered. You can still use the huge guy to chop small stuff like garlic cloves, they don't take up much more space, and I can't think of any disadvantage! Same rule for crockpots - why cook one meal when you can cook and "meal pod" 10 in the freezer?)

The dressing for this salad is minor variation on Julia's compost dressing.

Thank you, as always, Haidee for remembering to take photos when I am already busy tucking in!

Fig balsamic cashew butter 'slaw

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 4 large unpeeled carrots, leafy ends chopped off
  • Half head of savoy cabbage
  • 1/3 cup soft dried figs, or no-added-sugar dried fruit of your choice
  • 2 cups raw nuts of your choice, almonds and cashews are both great; if you don't have a food processor, you could buy a jar of chunky nut butter
  • Balsamic vinegar, mine was fig balsamic vinegar
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Black pepper
  • Sea salt

Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Spread the nuts in a single layer on a baking sheet; bake for about 10 minutes, checking and stirring them around every 2 minutes, until golden brown. Take out of oven and let cool.
  2. Meanwhile, using the large shredding disc for your food processor, shred the carrots and cabbage and place shredded veggies in a big salad bowl.
  3. Take the shredding disc off and put "S" blade in the bottom of the processor. Use the "pulse" function to roughly chop the figs; place chopped figs in the salad bowl.
  4. Reserving 1/4 cup of the nuts, pour the rest into the food processor and turn on "high" until the nuts form a butter; they will form a big sticky ball that starts clunking around in the processor. You will know when it is done, not to worry!
  5. Put 1/4 cup of the nut butter in the salad bowl; store the rest in a mason jar in your fridge for later. This butter will last indefinitely, but is so good that I've never kept it around very long.
  6. Pour the remaining 1/4 cup of nuts into the food processor and pulse a few times to roughly chop and then put in salad bowl.
  7. Put a big pour of olive oil and balsamic vinegar and a huge pinch each of sea salt and black pepper into the salad; mix it all together, taste and add more salt if necessary, and enjoy!