The arrival of apples means incorporating the sweet, crunchy fruit in as many meals as possible. Dicing up red apples and tossing them into standard cabbage slaw adds a refreshing crunch and pretty pop of color. The fact that apples and bacon play nicely together also means that bacon can play a double role in this easy slaw: The bacon itself gives salty hits of flavor, and the bacon fat can replace some of the regular oil in the dressing for a touch of smokiness.
A big batch of this slaw can pair with pork chops, chicken, ribs, or sausages for a tasty, fall-inspired dinner.
Normally I use thick-cut bacon, but in this slaw I like to go with the standard thin-cut bacon, which I find cooks up extra crispy. Go with whatever sweet apples you like; Pink Lady is my favorite, but Gala or Fuji are great substitutes.
This slaw doesn't wilt too quickly, so it can sit out for an hour or two if you're not ready to eat. Try it as a part of a buffet for Thanksgiving — just give it a quick toss again before serving.
sliced bacon (not thick-cut, about 9 slices), cut crosswise into 3/4-inch pieces
apple cider vinegar
scallions, thinly sliced
small head green cabbage (about 2 pounds, or about 10 cups shredded cabbage)
sweet red apples, such as Pink Lady (about 2 large)
coarsely chopped fresh parsley leaves
Freshly ground black pepper
Place the bacon in a large frying pan over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp and browned, 10 to 12 minutes. Meanwhile, place the vinegar, oil, honey, mustard, and salt in a large bowl and whisk to combine. Stir in the scallions and set aside.
Transfer the bacon with a slotted spoon to a paper towel-lined plate. Measure out 1/4 cup of the bacon fat and whisk into the dressing.
Cut the cabbage into 8 wedges through the core, then cut the core from each piece. Thinly slice the cabbage wedges crosswise to shred. Place in the bowl of dressing. Core, then cut the apples into 1/2-inch dice (no need to peel). Add to the bowl of cabbage, add the parsley, and toss to combine with the dressing. Add the reserved bacon and toss again to combine. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.
Storage: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
Make ahead: The dressing can be made without the bacon fat and stored in the refrigerator up to 2 days ahead. Let sit at room temperature while cooking the bacon. The cabbage can be shredded and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 2 days ahead.