I'm sure you won't be surprised to hear that there are many, many recipes for green vegetables in Bryant Terry's new cookbook, Afro-Vegan. It would be impossible to maintain a vegan diet without them. But Terry isn't simply sautéing and braising his way through piles of greens. He also has clever ways of using extra veggies to bulk up and enliven ordinary sides and salads. Take his all-green spring slaw, for example. Terry takes a basic cabbage coleslaw and amps it up with a panoply of spring favorites: green peas, snap peas, parsley, and chives all add texture and sweetness to the salad, making it more than just a ho-hum side. In fact, I've been eating leftovers as a light lunch, all on their own, without thinking twice.
Why I picked this recipe: A bright green slaw is a fine way to welcome spring weather.
What worked: I was surprised to find that I loved this tofu-based salad dressing. It's silky smooth and plenty bright, thanks to the lemon juice, vinegar, and Dijon. Unlike mayo-based coleslaw, the final salad is light and fresh while still maintaining a desirable, creamy texture.
What didn't: Unless you have exceptionally fresh peas, you will want to blanch them quickly in salted water to help remove starchiness. Make sure you cool and dry the peas completely before adding them to the slaw.
Suggested tweaks: To remove the strings from celery, use a vegetable peeler to remove just the top layer of the stalks. You could use other green vegetables here if you like. Finely chopped broccoli would be a nice addition (peel the stalks if you use them), as would kale.
Reprinted with permission from Afro-Vega: Farm-Fresh African, Caribbean, and Southern Flavors Remixed by Bryant Terry. Copyright 2014. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House. All rights reserved. Available wherever books are sold.
- Yield:Serves 4 to 6
- Active time: 25 minutes
- Total time:1 hour and 25 minutes
- 1/4 cup silken tofu
- 1 tablespoon freshly-squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3 cups very thinly sliced green cabbage
- 2 teaspoons coarse sea salt
- 1/2 cup shelled green peas (about 8 ounces peas in the pod)
- 8 ounces sugar snap peas, trimmed and thinly sliced lengthwise
- 2 stalks celery, strings removed and thinly sliced diagonally
- 1/4 cup husked raw pumpkin seeds, toasted
- 1/2 cup packed chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
- 1 tablespoon finely grated lime zest
To make the dressing: Put the tofu, lemon juice, mustard, vinegar, garlic, and salt in a blender and process until somewhat mixed. With the motor running, slowly pour in the oil and process until creamy. Taste and season with more salt if desired.
To make the slaw: Put the cabbage in a large bowl and sprinkle with the salt. With clean hands, massage the cabbage until soft and wilted, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a colander and rinse the bowl. Put the colander in the sink, put a plate atop the cabbage, and weight it (a 28-ounce can of tomatoes works well). Let sit for 1 hour.
Rinse the cabbage under cold water, then squeeze with clean hands to extract as much liquid as possible. Return the cabbage to the large bowl and add the shelled peas, sugar snap peas, celery, and pumpkin seeds. Pour in enough dressing to lightly coat the vegetables (start with 3 tablespoons). Toss with clean hands, then taste and add more dressing as desired (reserve any extra for another use).
To serve, with clean hands, transfer the slaw to a serving bowl, leaving any juices behind. Garnish with the parsley, chives, and lime zest.