Month of October: “David Tanis Market Cooking” Recipe: Lime and Chile Slaw

“Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.” Thomas Merton

Today’s recipe isn’t particularly artistic in any way aside from its simplicity. However, in that simplicity alone there lies something worth observing and appreciating. Fresh cabbage right out of the field, red onion, chile pepper and lime juice mixed together made into a fresh crunchy coleslaw with a south of the border flavor. It makes a perfect side dish to fish tacos.

I have been reflecting more and more on the importance for me to be ever mindful of the little things, the simple things, in order to maintain contact with my happier self. Audrey Hepburn has said everyone, every day, “should have at least one exquisite moment.” I like that. Abby and I had many exquisite moments during our friendship. Here, I am trying to recall and relive as many as possible.

When I met Abby one of the things I first discovered about her was that she wove baskets from wild materials. She was self taught and really gifted. She knew how to tame a willow branch or maple bark into startling submission. My first memory of her basket weaving was of her disappearing into some east Texas brushy area with a silver utility knife and returning with a huge pile of vine. Incredibly within an hour she transformed that heap of twig into a tight neatly composed basket shaped out of her imagination. I was in awe of her then and I am still in awe of her now. She truly was magical.

Ingredients: 1 small firm green cabbage, cored and shredded, 1 small red onion, very thinly sliced, 1 jalapeno or serrano chile, minced, juice of 3 limes or to taste, salt and pepper.

Put the cabbage, onion, chile and lime juice in a big mixing bowl, season generously with salt and black pepper and toss well. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour, after an hour, the cabbage will have wilted slightly. Taste the slaw, adjust with seasonings as desired and serve.

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