This particular recipe doesn’t strictly fall within the ‘bootstrap’ range, owing to its use of ludicrously beautiful blue petals as a finishing touch, but if you’re willing to abandon them, then it’s a different – and simpler – prospect entirely. I try to keep the recipes on this blog to easily accessible ingredients for as many people as possible, but when I posted a photograph of this on Twitter and Instagram, I was inundated with requests for the recipe. Cornflower petals are admittedly a little specialist (once you’ve been cooking for a living for a few years, your shelves do acquire all sorts of oddments…) the more humble kitchen could replace them with chopped parsley or mint for a similar eye-popping colour contrast, without the hit to your wallets.
Serves 4 as a side dish at 18p each – including the stupid and entirely unnecessary bright blue flowers
A generous handful (100g) of cabbage, kale or spring greens, 14p+ (Sweetheart cabbage 70p/500g, Spring greens 85p/200g and kale £1.20/250g – take your pick!)
1 carrot, 5p (75p/1.5kg, Basics carrots)
1 onion, 9p (80p/1.5kg, Basics onions)
1 beetroot, fresh or pickled, 20p (Vac-packed 80p/250g, fresh £1.65/200g)
1 tbsp red or white wine vinegar, 3p (at a push, malt vin will do if you don’t keep the fancy stuff kicking about…), (£1.15/500ml, Sainsburys own)
A few pinches of salt, <1p (40p/750g table salt)
1 tsp/4g sugar,<1p (80p/1kg Fairtrade granulated white sugar)
4 tbsp mayo or vegan equivalent, 7p – 32p (55p/500ml Basics mayo or £1.50/280g Chippa vegan equivalent)
1 tbsp sunflower or pumpkin seeds, optional, 3p (90p/100g)
A pinch/0.3g of cornflower petals, absolutely not necessary at all, 9p (£3.40/12g, Spice Mountain)
Absolutely no unicorns at all
First, finely chop your leaves, be they cabbage, kale or greens, and toss them into a large mixing bowl. Grate your carrot and add that too. Peel your onion and finely slice or grate it, whichever you find easier, and toss it in. Grate in your beetroot and swiftly wash your hands to remove the deep purple juices, or hold your peace with them clinging to your fingernails for the rest of the week.
Add your vinegar, salt and sugar and give it all a good stir. Stand the bowl to one side and leave it for at least 20 minutes to mascerate and soften.
Spoon in your mayo – or equivalent – and mix well. The beetroot will colour it all a vibrant pink as you mix it, so be a little vigorous to release those juices!
Taste your slaw; I like mine to err on the side of tangy, but some folks prefer a milder, creamier slaw, so if it is a little sharp for your tastes, add an extra tablespoon or two of mayo to temper it.
Finish with a smattering of seeds to add a little crunch and wow, and a pinch of cornflower or freshly chopped herbs.
Jack Monroe. Twitter: @BootstrapCook Insta: @MxJackMonroe
My new book, Cooking on a Bootstrap, is now available to order HERE.
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