|(Wendy Maeda/Globe Staff/file)|
If you're hosting or attending picnics or barbecues over the Fourth, balance the burgers, dogs, potato salad, and pie with a crisp, bright coleslaw made with fennel and cabbage. Fennel adds a slight anise taste to coleslaw, which comes from the Dutch word koolsla, meaning cabbage (kool) salad (sla), according to "The Oxford Companion to Food." Coleslaw can be infinitely varied, from soft savoy cabbage in a gingery vinaigrette to hard green cabbage with lime juice and cilantro for serving with tacos. In this version, cabbage and fennel are tossed with scallions, lemon juice, cider vinegar, and toasted anise seeds to accentuate the flavor. Wait until just before serving to add a dressing of strained Greek yogurt, a little sour cream, and dill. The results will please omnivores, along with those fretting about how their bathing suits will fit this weekend.
|1||small firm green cabbage|
|2||bulbs fennel, stalks discarded, fronds set aside|
|1||bunch scallions, thinly sliced on a diagonal|
|Juice of 1 lemon|
|2||tablespoons apple cider vinegar|
|1||teaspoon anise seeds, toasted|
|1/2||cup plain strained Greek-style yogurt|
|1/4||cup sour cream|
|1/4||cup chopped fresh dill|
|Pepper, to taste|
2. Halve the fennel bulbs lengthwise. Cut away the core. Slice the fennel thinly and add to the cabbage. Chop the fronds finely and add to the vegetables with the scallions. Toss well.
3. In a small bowl, stir together the lemon juice, vinegar, anise seeds, sugar, and salt. Pour over the cabbage mixture and toss again. At this point, refrigerate the slaw, if you like, for 1 day.
4. With tongs, transfer the slaw to another bowl, leaving behind all but 1 to 2 tablespoons of liquid.
5. In a small bowl, whisk together the yogurt, sour cream, and dill. Add to the cabbage and toss to combine. Add pepper, taste for seasoning, and add more salt, if you like. Refrigerate for about 1 hour. Leigh Belanger