A Fresh Alternative to the Usual Fourth of July Fare
“I feel like women don’t grill,” says Lauren Godfrey, a.k.a. WeGolden, as she stands over a flaming barbecue, wielding tongs on some wedges of pineapple and arctic white cabbage. Godfrey is a former creative director who now channels her talents into creating super-delicious, never-bland plant-based dishes.
The motto of her blog, WeGolden, is “Love food that loves you back.” This is a timely theme. Especially when it comes to the super-masculine, patriotic, fire-licked menu on the Fourth of July. In anticipation of fireworks, bunting, and hot dogs and hamburgers, I asked, “WWWGD? (What would WeGolden do?)”
Godfrey had some tricks up the sleeve of her peasant blouse. She asked me and photographer Bess Friday, her longtime friend and creative collaborator, to come on over. The results are a three-course meal with tastes and textures bright, crunchy, sweet, chewy, smoky, full, and never boring.
Godfrey was kind enough to share her recipe for the seasonal standby—the ultimate grill companion: coleslaw.
For more information, a complete Fourth of July menu and recipes, visit WeGolden.com.
Grilled Cabbage Slaw with Honey, Lime, and Jalapeño Vinaigrette
1 small head green cabbage
2 ears corn, husks and silks removed
sunflower oil (or other neutral oil)
freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup raw, hulled pumpkin seeds
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon fish sauce (optional)
1/2 seeded, minced jalapeño (about 1 tablespoon, or to taste)
1/4 cup cilantro leaves
Heat grill to high heat. Slice cabbage into 8 wedges. Keep cores intact, as it will make them easier to manipulate on the grill. Using a pastry brush, lightly coat cabbage wedges and shucked corn with sunflower oil and sprinkle with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Place cabbage and corn on grill and, once they have char marks, use tongs to flip them to the next side. Once you have char marks on all sides, place on platter and cool to room temperature. Once they are at room temperature, remove the cores and thinly slice the cabbage and remove kernels from the corn.
Place a small, heavy-bottomed skillet on the grill or stove top over medium heat. Add the pumpkin seeds and cook, constantly stirring, until the seeds begin to puff up and pop, taking care not to burn them. This should only take a couple of minutes. Remove from heat and toss with 1/4 teaspoon of sunflower oil and a pinch of kosher salt. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, add lime juice, honey, fish sauce, and minced jalapeño, along with 2 tablespoons of sunflower oil and 1 teaspoon of kosher salt. Whisk until well blended.
What WeGolden would do:
Prep the grill with oil and create a big flame.
Grill mango, pineapple, and avocado. Sweeter than ribs!
Add toasted pumpkin seeds to grilled cabbage slaw for the perfect crunch (and contrast). “I like the smoky flavor we are getting with the pumpkin seeds,” says Godfrey. Me too!
“The new hot dog”: handheld grilled avocado and pineapple summer rolls.
If it’s too hot to turn on the oven, desserts like these grilled mangoes with whipped coconut cream will keep you cool.
“The Laurens” take in the views of San Francisco and enjoy the fruits of their labor.
Photos: Bess Friday