Too many slaws are unpleasantly tough and unappealingly cloying, little more than a tangle of raw cabbage and sweet mayonnaise. Our goal: a slaw with a tender texture and more nuanced taste.
We took inspiration from chef Gabe Rucker of Le Pigeon restaurant in Portland. He dresses a raw zucchini salad with an unusual vinaigrette that substitutes browned butter for the traditional oil. The rich, nutty flavor of the butter adds a depth we don’t typically associate with raw vegetables.
We adapted this approach to add similar richness to basic slaw. Though white and red cabbage are classic, for this winter slaw we opted for more flavorful Brussels sprouts.
A food processor’s slicing disk made quick work of thinly shredding the sprouts into tender strips. We were able to further tenderize them by salting them and letting them stand for 15 minutes before dressing them.
For the vinaigrette, we chose sherry vinegar. Whole-grain mustard added more bold flavor as well as a bit of texture. Chopped smoked almonds added crunch, and chewy dried cranberries lent sweet tang.