cole slaw, sweet / sour / mildly hot

If you see these jumbo raisins at the grocery, just buy them. They're the best.

* half head of green cabbage sliced using Japanese mandolin  (quartered), it can be any kind of cabbage. Napa is nice, so is savoy.
* medium apple shredded using Japanese mandolin with vertical shredding blade.
* half red bell pepper sliced on mandolin, it's all I had or I'd use a whole one.
* whole jalapeño with hot membrane holding seeds removed, sliced thinner. 
* jumbo raisins.
* dried cranberries.
* pecans heated briefly in dry small pan. 

* 1/4 cup packed brown sugar.
* 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar, or rice vinegar, or whatever you like.
* 1/4 cup mayonnaise (my jar is mixed with 1/2 tin ground mustard seeds and 2 smashed anchovies).
* salt.

Everyone uses carrot, for color I suppose, and because that's all they ever see.

One day on our way to Mexico I stated, not complained mind you, merely observed that chefs take a cheap shortcut by putting carrots where they don't always belong just to have color. They all agreed that I'm a nit picking nutter.

Then on the airplane lunch was served. My tray contained a thin Salisbury steak sort of meat patty with shredded carrots mixed into it, a side of cut carrots, a separate bowl of salad comprised of lettuce and shredded carrots, and for desert, wait for it ... carrot cake.

I pointed this out and laughter ensued. But instead of accepting the point that I made now two hours earlier,  I gained an undeserved reputation for hating on carrots, and I don't hate carrots, quite the contrary, I like carrots a lot. While I maintain my original point that carrots are an enduring go to vegetable used only for color by unimaginative chefs and that trickles down to everyday cooks as carrots being essential. Check it out for yourself if you like, Google images: [cole slaw]  

Carrots all over the place. As if they are essential. They're not. You don't need to risk slicing your fingers on the mandolin, or drag out the Cuisinart, or tediously shred them by hand or cut them into planks then julienne them just for streaks of orange color. Oh yeah, they're also sweet, pffft, so are apples. 

Grapes are cool too but they go soft before I can finish the whole bowl. If you think about it almost any vegetable will be nice when it's shredded like this, blanched if they're hard and that's necessary, and tossed with a simple sweet / sour sauce.  I'd consider broccoli or green beans for example. It's all very nice.  

I like to include something a bit hot because I'm thinking as Thai cooks who like to hit every taste bud at once. Their sauces might contain soy sauce, anchovy for complexity, peanut butter, toasted sesame oil.

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