Creole-Spiced Slaw

Published:

We made this dish for a fabulous island-themed rehearsal dinner that we catered in the Hamptons for our great friend, television personality Robyn Moreno. None of the guests was from the Caribbean, although we did have a few Tejanos and they simply loved the island flava! This cool summer slaw is spicy-sweet perfection with any kind of barbeque—from burgers to ribs to chicken. Enjoy!

Serves 6

For the Sweet and Spicy Jerked Cashews

  • 11⁄4 cups raw cashews
  • 2 teaspoons jerk sauce
  • Sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar

For the Coconut Sesame Dressing

  • juice of 6 limes (about 6 tablespoons)
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, tender inner part only, smashed
    and finely chopped
  • 1 stalk scallion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons honey, preferably Jamaican
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons dark Asian sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon minced Scotch bonnet
  • 1⁄4 cup canned coconut milk
  • 6 ounces white cabbage, thinly shredded (2 to 3 cups)
  • 6 ounces red cabbage, thinly shredded (2 to 3 cups)
  • 1⁄2 medium red pepper, cut into matchsticks
  • 1⁄2 medium yellow pepper, cut into matchsticks
  • 1 red chile pepper, seeded and finely sliced into strips
  • 1⁄2 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1⁄2 cup thinly sliced strips fresh pineapple
  • 1 ripe mango, peeled, pitted and cut into thin strips
  • 1 medium ripe papaya, peeled and cut into thin strips
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 bunch fresh mint, chopped
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Toasted grated coconut (optional)

Method
1. To make the sweet and spicy jerked cashews, preheat the oven to 350°F. In a small bowl, toss the cashews with the jerk sauce and a little salt. Spread on a baking sheet in a single layer and toast until golden, about 5 minutes.

2. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the brown sugar and let melt; when it begins to caramelize, add the roasted cashews and toss to coat well. Spread the cashews out onto a baking sheet lined with waxed paper to cool. Roughly chop.

3. To make the coconut sesame dressing, in a blender, combine all of the ingredients and whizz together. Season with salt and pepper.

4. In a large bowl, combine both cabbages, all the peppers, the red onion, pineapple, mango and papaya. Season with salt and pepper. Pour the dressing over the vegetable and fruit mixture, add the mint and cilantro and toss. Top with the sweet and spicy cashews and toasted coconut, if using.

Serve chilled.