Truth time: I used to love me some KFC.
These days I don’t find myself at fast food restaurants that much…or at all. But as a pre-teen and teenager I was all about an extra-crispy meal with potato wedges and a biscuit. Ohhh the biscuits.
Between the heavily seasoned crunchy chicken and biscuit/potato double-carb-punch, the whole situation was near perfect for my 15-year-old palate. The one and only problem was that nasty little styrofoam container filled with mayo-laden, tasteless coleslaw. I just couldn’t get into it. I liked vegetables and salad (albeit less than fried chicken), but this was not that.
So I went along in life thinking of myself as an anti-slaw kind of lady; until one day it occurred to me that slaw could be made into something I could enjoy. I’m a total texture and crunch fan, so I knew we could make this work.
We could keep the cabbage and carrots aspect and add some fennel for gourmet flair, but we’d have to ditch that mayo business. In its place, we can use a Greek yogurt and vinegar-based dressing along with lots of seeds for tang and spice. (This method also works for eliminating mayo from tuna and egg salads.)
I’m bonkers for the fennel’s aniseed flavor and crunch and for the taste and texture of toasted sesame, fennel and cumin seeds. I like the lightness of the dressing and how it allows the spices and vegetables to shine through.
This is how we shall do slaw from this day forward in my house.
Bring on the (non-Kentucky) fried chicken. (Or veggie burgers.)
3-Seed Fennel Slaw
- 1/2 small red cabbage, shredded
- 1 fennel bulb, fronds cut off and thinly sliced
- 1 large carrot cut with a julienne peeler or grated on a box grater
- 2 green onions, thinly sliced
- 2 teaspoons sesame seeds
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- salt & pepper
- ¼ cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
In a large bowl, place thinly sliced cabbage, fennel, carrot and green onions and mix together. Set aside.
Heat a small pan over a medium heat. Place sesame, fennel and cumin seeds and toast them, shaking the plan occasionally, to evenly distribute the heat. Toast for 3-4 minutes until fragrant and the sesame seeds have turned a golden color.
While the seeds are toasting, whisk together the yogurt, mustard and vinegar with a pink of salt and a few grindings of black pepper. Pour over the sliced vegetables and mix well, until the cabbage mixture is coated in the dressing. Add seeds and toss well again to evenly distribute the seeds throughout the salad.
You can serve it immediately or let it stand in the fridge for a few hours before serving.