In Greek and Roman times, the colour purple was associated with royalty, and only worn by emperors or senior members of the Senate, as it was so expensive to produce. It was made from milking sea-snails for a particular secretion which produced a purple dye – 12000 snails for one garment!
We had a few people round for a BBQ for the jubilee, so I decided our coleslaw should be purple in the Queen’s honour. You’ll be pleased to know I didn’t use sea snails to get the colour! It was really popular, so I promised to blog it – for those who came to the BBQ and demanded the recipe, here you go!
A kilo of carrots (you’re going for sweetness here, so fresh and preferably organic is good)
One red cabbage
Two onions. The onions are really important – you need to track down sweet onions. Tesco do some good ‘Finest’ ones which I used here. I can’t emphasise how much of a difference using sweet onions makes – this is really the secret ingredient!
An 800g jar of Hellmans mayonnaise – interestingly, the real version is diary-free (although does contain eggs) while the light version includes cream! Go figure…
Peel and grate the carrots, shred the cabbage, discarding the woodier sections near the base. A food processor is useful – Iris very much enjoyed watching the carrots get chopped! Then pulverise the onions. Yes, I do mean pulverise – even though they are sweet, you don’t want to get a surprise large chunk of onion. The finer you can get it, the more uniformly in is distributed. The grater attachment rather than the slicer on your food processor is ideal.
Chuck all the veg in a huge bowl (it will be mixing-bowl size), and stir in the mayo. You probably won’t use all of it, but just keep going until you are happy. I prefer mine reasonably dry. You’ll see that the purple colour of the cabbage leaches out and stains the mayo, making the whole thing purple. Fun, hey?
One of the kids, who, earlier, had been telling me she would rather never eat again than be vegetarian, just ate a whole bowl of it on its own. Must have been good, I guess! Serves about a million, so you might want to save this one for party time.