Think of the word “slaw,” and many of us probably picture the classic shredded cabbage dish, or perhaps variations based on broccoli or carrots. But there’s so much more potential to the dish, particularly with all the great produce available during the hot summer months.
I’ve made slaws using zucchini and other summer squash, melons (slightly unripe melons have a nice, firm texture perfect for the dish), eggplant and even cucumbers. One of my favorite seasonal slaws uses a variety of colorful bell peppers tossed with corn, cilantro and quick dressing combining lemon juice, garlic, chile powder and agave syrup or honey. For added flavor, I’ll sometimes grill the corn before adding it to the dish, and I also love adding crumbled fresh feta or cotija cheese. The dish comes together in a half hour, and it’s a great option whether planning for company, a picnic or potluck, or a simple weeknight meal.
BELL PEPPER AND CORN SLAW
30 minutes, plus chilling time. Serves 6 to 8
6 large bell peppers, assorted colors
2 ears corn, shucked
Juice of 2 lemons, or to taste
Zest of 1 lemon
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon agave syrup or honey, or to taste
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon chipotle or New Mexico chile powder, or to taste
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1. Core the peppers and cut them into lengthwise strips no thicker than one-eighth inch and about 2 1/2 inches long. Place the sliced pepper in a large bowl
2. Slice the kernels off the corn, and toss them with the peppers.
3. In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, zest, garlic, olive oil, agave syrup, salt and chipotle powder to form a dressing. Taste and adjust to taste.
4. Pour the dressing over the peppers and toss well to coat completely. Stir in the cilantro and toss until evenly combined. This makes about 6 cups slaw.
5. Cover and refrigerate the pepper slaw at least 1 hour before serving. The slaw will keep for up to 2 days, refrigerated.
Note: From Noelle Carter. Adapted from a recipe I originally created while at the Los Angeles Times.