apple & pear slaw with caramel cider vinaigrette.

yes, you read that correctly: caramel cider vinaigrette.

and yes, it’s insanely, completely and totally delicious!

October is here, and fall is in full-swing. we’re actually having some lovely weather here in Florida…i’m totally shocked. we were able to open the windows last night and let the autumn breeze sweep through the house. i’m in love with fall.

the beginning of a new month also means it’s time once again for the Burwell General Store recipe swap! i love being a part of this group, in which we re-invent a recipe from a vintage cookbook called All-Day Singin’ and Dinner on the Ground. each month, Christianna picks a recipe and we have a few weeks to brainstorm and come up with something delicious and unique.

this month’s recipe totally threw me for a loop.

hot slaw. yikes. to be perfectly honest, it sounded totally appalling.

i guess i should preface that statement by saying that i don’t like coleslaw. nope, not even a little bit. not one iota. mayonnaise freaks me out. it’s so…viscous. and blob-like. and…gross. in culinary school, we’ve had to make mayonnaise about 2398 times, so i’m pretty sure i’ve had my fill of making, looking at, or being near mayonnaise for the rest of my life.

i set about to make a vinegar-based coleslaw. although, i’m not crazy about food that’s overly vinegary. vinegar is so…acidic. so pungent. so…strong.

aren’t i the pickiest pain in the ass you’ve ever met?

you know what i do like? vinaigrettes. i like them a lot. there’s enough vinegar in a well-made vinaigrette to give a salad or slaw an acute sharpness, but not in an overwhelming way at all. olive oil rounds out the flavor, and your flavoring of choice cuts through the tang of the vinegar. it’s perfect!

i’ve had caramel apples on the brain lately…more on that in a future post! i decided to make a savory-sweet slaw with apples, pears, dried cranberries and golden raisins, all dressed in a lovely caramel cider vinaigrette.

this slaw is unbelievably good. it makes me want to go on a picnic. i know people don’t normally picnic in autumn, but i think we totally should. blankets, autumn breezes, good food, cardigans…pretty romantic, huh?

honestly, i would so rather go on a picnic in the fall versus the summer! summertime is hot and humid and sticky, and the last thing i want to do is sit outside on a lawn full of ants while a boy tries to get all cute and close and cuddly with me. no thanks.

i am much more prone to cuddling and romance during autumn. make a note, potential suitors!

just kidding. i’m totes engaged. love you, Ryan!

so back to this slaw. it’s fabulous. i ate a huge bowl of it yesterday and it made me so ridiculously happy. i served this slaw along with turkey, brie and cranberry paninis. i seriously can’t think of a more perfect October lunch!

autumn slaw: it’ll change the way you think about coleslaw forever! pinkie swear.

apple & pear slaw with caramel cider vinaigrette

Yield: 5 cups slaw

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes


for the caramel cider vinaigrette

2 tablespoons caramel sauce, at room temperature (find my favorite recipe here!)
2 tablespoons apple cider
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup good quality extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

for the slaw

2 medium gala apples, cut into long matchsticks
2 medium fuji apples, cut into long matchsticks
2 bartlett pears, cut into long matchsticks
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup golden raisins
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon


for the caramel cider vinaigrette

combine all ingredients in a jar with a tight-fitting lid. make sure all your ingredients are at room-temperature, this will ensure they combine well.

screw the lid onto the jar tightly, and shake the jar vigorously for about 30 seconds to combine and emulsify the dressing. most if not all of the caramel should fully incorporate into the dressing, and it's okay if you see a bit of solid dressing stuck to the bottom of the jar.

the vinaigrette will keep, stored in the jar in the fridge for about 2 weeks. you'll just want to let it come to room temperature and give it a good shake before using again.

assembling the slaw

combine the sliced apples, sliced apples, cranberries and golden raisins in a bowl.

add about 1/4 cup of the caramel cider vinaigrette and the ground cinnamon. gently toss the slaw to coat it in the dressing.

allow the slaw to sit covered in the fridge for about an hour before re-tossing and serving.

the slaw will keep, covered in the fridge for up to three days.

a food plus words original

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18 Responses to “apple & pear slaw with caramel cider vinaigrette.”

  1. #
    Rachel — October 3, 2011 at 2:10 pm

    It seems there are a lot of us non-coleslaw-eaters in this swap! I cannot imagine making mayonnaise that many times, especially considering I don’t like eating it either.
    I love the idea of a fall picnic with your sweet, vinegar-y slaw. What a brilliant idea to add caramel!

  2. #
    emily | nomnivorous — October 3, 2011 at 2:56 pm

    hmmm, caramel cider vinaigrette?! i’m so utterly confused and intrigued by this. i have some leftover beer caramel from the bruery recipe, maybe i’ll give this a whirl. especially considering i’m another non-coleslaw-eater.

  3. #
    Boulder Locavore — October 3, 2011 at 3:12 pm

    Wow! Can’t quite pinpoint in my mind what the flavor would be like of the dressing. Love the spirit of the dish, photos are gorgeous and totally agree on the Fall sentiments. Very creative Jaclyn.

  4. #
    Lauren @ Healthy Food For Living — October 3, 2011 at 5:24 pm

    I’m a new reader of your blog, but every single recipe I’ve seen so far has been added to my “to make” list; this slaw just got bumped up to the top ;).

  5. #
    Ken G. — October 3, 2011 at 8:17 pm

    This will be on my Thanksgiving table this year, no question.

  6. #
    kellypea — October 3, 2011 at 9:41 pm

    I’m with you on the mayo, but do enjoy a nice homemade version with lots of garlic. This slaw sounds fabulous. I love the crunchy aspect of it along with the ingredient mix. Hot is interesting and I’m always up for that. Nice!

  7. #
    LiiNSA Eckhardt — October 4, 2011 at 6:48 am

    Sweet and sour , always a winner and I lo be the play of fruit flabors as well. Going home from Portland today. Want totry this over the weekend. Yum.

  8. #
    brandi — October 4, 2011 at 11:17 am

    i’m not a big fan of mayo-slaws, so this looks perfect!

  9. #
    alex — October 4, 2011 at 11:54 am

    looks like we were thinking exactly alike on this! not slaw lovers, let’s use apples! your recipe looks divine. I agree..fall picnic! awesome! beautiful recipe and swap!

  10. #
    Rachel — October 4, 2011 at 12:48 pm

    I totally want to make this, but in the ingredient list I can’t see a link to your favorite recipe for caramel sauce… am I missing something?

  11. #
    Jennifer — October 5, 2011 at 9:44 am

    This is a recipe I have been thinking about since I first laid eyes on it! I can’t wait to make it! Thanks!

  12. #
    SweetSugarBelle — October 26, 2011 at 8:03 pm

    This looks WONDERFUL AND refreshing!

  13. #
    Cookie and Kate — October 26, 2011 at 9:31 pm

    I’ve never liked a slaw before but I suspect this one would change my mind. Looks fantastic!

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