Yes, this is essential a cole slaw, but I say salad here because this dressing, an anchoïade, or anchovy sauce, can also be used for salads using escarole, frisée, radicchio, and other slightly bitter, sturdy greens. If you can dress the cabbage an hour or so ahead of time you will be rewarded with a luxuriously pungent salad. The other greens mentioned will wilt somewhat (a condition I actually like) so dress just before serving, if you like.
It’s best to make this dressing by hand, a food processor or blender will thicken the sauce and you’ll find yourself with a mayonnaise-like concoction, which isn’t necessarily bad, and more like a cole slaw. Having made this both ways, I think the vinaigrette consistency achieved by hand is best in this salad.
8 c or so cabbage, or other sturdy greens, or a combination
4 – 5 garlic cloves
1 2-ounce container of anchovies, preferably in oil
1 T red wine vinegar, or other vinegar
1/3 c extra-virgin olive oil, or other oil
pinch cayenne or red pepper flakes, optional
salt and black pepper, to taste
fresh chopped herb, such basil or parsley, for garnish
1. Put cabbage in a serving bowl and set aside while making the vinaigrette.
2. Crush and chop the garlic with the anchovy filets to make a purée. The flat side of a chopping knife is good for this–gather the garlic and anchovies in a little pile and smush down with the side of the knife. It doesn’t take too long to get a purée.
3. Put the purée in a small bowl and combine with the vinegar, oil, cayenne, if using, salt, and pepper.
Pour over the cabbage. Combine well. Allow to sit if you can, before serving. Garnish with fresh chopped herb.