Sometimes the simplest preparations make the best dishes. Michael Hartzer, chef of the new Jack Rose in Adams Morgan, experimented with several kinds of cole slaw before the booze-focused restaurant opened a few weeks ago. After testing versions with purple cabbage and fresh herbs, he settled on a straightforward yet surefire formula with crunchy savoy cabbage, a rich olive-oil-based mayo, and hint of oregano. It makes a light side dish for grilled meats, such as Jack Rose's Baltimore-style pit-beef sandwich (available on the roof-deck menu).
For a more dressed-up slaw, Hartzer says to improvise with such ingredients as thin-sliced shallot or red onion for crunch, or fresh mint and basil for summery flavor. But given how easy Hartzer's version is, it's tempting to stick with the original.
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Jack Rose's Cole Slaw
Serves 4 to 6
1 head savoy cabbage
4 tablespoons home-made or high-quality mayonnaise (make sure it's all-natural and olive-oil-based)
1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
1 teaspoon dry oregano
Small pinch sugar
Small pinch cayenne
Salt to taste
Quarter the cabbage and remove the core. Slice each quarter into thin strips, roughly 1/8-inch thick. Place in a medium bowl and set aside.
Place mayonnaise in a small bowl. Mix in the vinegar, oregano, sugar, cayenne, and salt. Taste to adjust seasoning. Fold the mayonnaise mixture into the cabbage, cover, and let sit in the fridge for at least 1 hour, and up to 5 hours.
When you're ready to serve the slaw, place the contents of the bowl in a strainer and let the excess liquid drain for a few minutes. Place it back in the bowl for serving.