Apple slaw with cumin-lime vinaigrette
As anyone who follows my Instagram feed knows, last week I had the pleasure of hosting a photo shoot for the upcoming Tacolicious cookbook at my humble abode. Somewhere in the neighborhood of 30 recipes were prepped and shot, so you can only imagine the insane quantities of Mexican food that we were consuming. Every kind of salsa you can think of along with countless tacos, empanadas, that famous tuna tostada as well as cocktails and beautiful agua frescas were all up for grabs once they were shot and approved. The shoot fell over Halloween, but aside from Chef Telmo’s luchador get-up, the only other mask was that of the deadly sin of gluttony that was cloaking us all! You would think that after four days of gorging on Mexican food for breakfast, lunch and dinner I wouldn’t be able to get near the cuisine of our southern neighbors for quite some time, but that’s not the case. I have to confess that I was back at Tacolicious for lunch on Tuesday, and yesterday, as I was cruising the aisles of Bi-Rite searching for inspiration for this post, I couldn’t get those delicious flavors profiles out of my head.
I’ve already waxed poetic about the apple selection at Bi-Rite right now and it shows no sign of slowing down. There were around 10 varieties of apples on display and, once again, a kind and knowledgeable associate let me sample more than my fair share of them as I started to formulate my plan. I decided to take the traditional Mexican flavors I was craving and partner them with those beautiful apples. Despite many more obscure choices to choose from, I ended up going with two common apples varieties: granny smith’s for their tart acidity and fuji’s for their sweetness. The result is this slaw which is light and crisp yet satisfying thanks to the bolder ingredients. I enjoyed it on its own as a salad, but it would also be great in a supporting role to a protein, and most certainly a taco.
Before I wrap this up I’d like to say what a pleasure it was to work with team Tacolious who have become dear friends at this point. Thank you Sara, Joe, Telmo and Mike for letting me be part of the crew! My pal Emma Campion, in her new post as Creative Director at Ten Speed Press was also in the mix and it was great to see her work her magic. Then there’s über talented Alex Farnum who shot the whole thing and along with Christine Wolheim’s styling made it look like a (delicious) piece of cake.
Apple slaw with cumin lime vinaigrette recipe
Cumin lime vinaigrette
1 tsp cumin seeds, toasted and ground
1/4 c olive oil
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon raw honey
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon seeded and finely diced jalapeño
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
Toast the cumin seeds over medium heat in a dry, heavy bottom skillet until fragrant and slightly darker in color. Transfer to small coffee or spice grinder and grind to a fine powder. Combine with all remaining ingredients in a small food processor or blender and blitz until emulsified.
2 cups julienned apple (I used two varieties – granny smith and fuji, but you can use what you like).
2 cups thinly sliced cabbage (again, I used two types – green and purple, but either is fine. Be warned that the purple cabbage will bleed it’s color and lend a pink tone to the dish).
1/2 cup thinly sliced radishes
1/4 cup roughly chopped cilantro leaves
Juice from 1 lime
A mandolin comes in really handy here – I used the medium julienne blade to sliver the whole unpeeled apples and the regular straight blade for the radishes. I opted to cut the cabbage by hand, but you could try the mandolin here too. Just take care not to cut yourself! To prevent the apples from oxidizing and turning brown toss them with a bit of lime juice immediately after cutting.
toasted pumpkin and coriander seeds
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Heat the oil over medium heat in a heavy bottom skillet and add the pumpkin and coriander seeds. Fry stirring occasionally until golden and the pumpkin seeds start to pop. Take off heat and toss with salt.
To assemble the salad combine the apples, cabbage, radishes and cilantro, toss with the vinaigrette, top with the toasted seeds and serve immediately. This salad is best eaten right away as it loses its crunch if it sits too long.