LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Americans celebrate Independence Day with fireworks, lighting grills, and even firing up smokers.

Cloverfields Farm & Kitchen's Janine Washle loves a patriotic holiday. She's sharing ideas for your holiday gathering including a kicked up rainbow slaw with a mango dressing and a showstopping firecracker cake anyone can make.

Of course, Americans love celebrating with an array of grilled or smoked meats. And those are usually served with a variety of sides many of which are hearty salads. Cool salads complement, and enhance the flavors of grilled foods with their crunch, creaminess, and interesting flavor combinations. While we probably don't give it much thought, the wide variety of salad dressings, and types of salads can be largely credited to Americans of the early 20th century.

In the 1900's, American chefs put their creative minds to work, and came up with a variety of salad dressings. In fact, most of what we find on store shelves today are the same ones that were created in that salad heyday. Dressings like Green Goddess, French, Italian, and Thousand Island were all part of this salad renaissance. Creamy dressings were popularized when Richard Hellman, a deli owner in New York, began to sell mayonnaise. Mayonnaise itself though was created hundreds of years earlier in France. Marzetti's brand salad dressings started appearing on store shelves because Joe Marzetti couldn't keep up with requests for his old world recipes.

Iconic salads like Waldorf, Cobb, and Caesar salads were part of this salad 'storm', and still are on menus nationwide. Interestingly, they were created by West coast chefs for Hollywood's movers and shakers during that time. International favorites such as Italian Panzanella, bread and tomato salad, can be found even today in many magazines, and online with dozens of variations. Nicoise Salad, from France is one of the most argued salads. What ingredients, proper assembly, and whether to serve on a bed of lettuce, or tomatoes makes this a real conversation starter, or ender depending on who wins the argument!

Then there's coleslaw. Many would say coleslaw isn't salad it's just, well, slaw. But, if we take a look at the meaning of the word we can see that it indeed is a salad; a hearty one with a base of cabbage or at the least some sort of cruciferous vegetable. Coleslaw is from the dutch word, koolsla. 'Kool' meaning cabbage, and 'sla' the word for salad. Early Dutch settlers grew cabbage along the banks of the Hudson river in New York making slaw from their harvest as early as 1785. This dutch slaw was in a vinegary dressing. American slaw with a creamy style dressing evolved from this.

Armed with all of this salad knowledge, we can step into summer with delicious salads to enhance a meal, or be a meal in itself. So start chopping, and mixing because there is no better side to grilled and smoked meats than a cool, and refreshing salad.

Rainbow Slaw

Serves: 8-10


1-1/2 cups shredded red cabbage

1-1/2 cups shredded green cabbage (use inner white leaves)

1-1/2 cups finely chopped broccoli tops, or snow peas

1 cup shredded carrots

1 large red bell pepper, thinly sliced into strips

1 large yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced into strips

1 medium red onion, finely chopped, blanched in water (will turn a blue-ish color)


1 small mango, pureed

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

2 TB white vinegar

1 TB Dijon mustard

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

1/4 cup vegetable oil

2 tsp toasted poppy seeds (optional)


In a large bowl, toss together red cabbage, green cabbage, broccoli, carrots, red pepper, yellow pepper, and onion.

Prepare dressing in a medium bowl by whisking together mango puree, lemon juice, vinegar, mustard, salt, and pepper. Once smooth, whisk in oil until emulsified. Can also do this in a food processor. Stir in poppy seeds.

Pour enough prepared dressing over slaw to generously moisten, but don't over saturate. Keep any leftover dressing refrigerated in a covered container.

This slaw is best eaten the same day. If there are leftovers, refrigerate. The cabbage will exude moisture, and make the dressing watery if kept longer than a day. Simply, pour off and discard. Re-dress with leftover dressing.


Cloverfields Farm and Kitchen also has a special Fourth of July Recipe Booklet available by email. To ask for a complimentary copy, just email Janine Washle at cloverfields.farm.ky@gmail.com.

Janine Washle's CloverFields Farm & Kitchen

Hardin Springs Area

Big Clifty, KY 42712

Connect with Janine and Cloverfields Farm & Kitchen on the website, Facebook, Youtube and Pinterest.

About Janine Washle:

CloverFields Farm & Kitchen is primarily an on-line destination. They are not open to drop-in visitors as it is a private residence. CloverFields Kitchen researches and reinterpretes many traditional recipes using local produce, much from their own gardens, and adding a global perspective. Janine is working on her first cookbook, but she also has a long resume developing recipes for several companies. She has also won several contests and cook-offs with her original recipes.

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