Don’t go turning your nose up before you read this recipe, we’re not taking bland green cabbage smothered in mayonnaise here. We talking an all raw salad with endless possibilities for adaptation and flavour combinations that only gets better the longer it sits in you fridge. (Within reason here folks.)
You will need:
- Half of a small red cabbage
- One carrot
- Small amount of any other veggie you want (I used celery root in my prep this week, I’d also recommend fennel, beet root, or broccoli stems).
- A handful of dried raisins or cranberries
- A handful of nuts (optional and variety depending on what spices you choose)
- A lemon or a lime (I especially like the brightness of lime in the summer months, when so many seasonal flavours pair perfectly with it)
- Honey or Maple Syrup
- Apple Cider or White Balsamic Vinegar
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Fresh herbs or spices of your choice (I suggest you pick a location of the world and draw inspiration from what combinations is traditional in their cuisine. This week I used “herbs de provence,” fitting for where I am currently living.
- A large mixing bowl
- A sharp knife, mandolin, grater, or any other means of producing thinly sliced vegetables
- cutting board
All of the amounts are flexible here, substitute and adjust based on what you have on hand, what you can find cheap and good, and your own preferences. Portions given here will make a generous sized bowl: enough for two and then to have on hand for most of the week, enough for four at 2-3 meals, or enough for six at a meal with some leftover. Of course, it depends on how much you eat (I take generous portions of this type of slaw, often making it a complete meal with a few chickpeas and an egg.)
Start by washing and thinly slicing all of your vegetables. Depending on how much you are doing, the grater top of a food processor can be your best friend here. I julienned all of my vegetables by hand, not because of any feelings that this is superior, but because my temporary kitchen is sadly lacking in sophisticated kitchen equipment. Once sliced, add all of your vegetables to the mixing bowl. Roughly chop your raisins or cranberries, as well as your nuts if you are using them, before adding them both the the bowl. The dried fruit helps add bursts of sweetness and gets wonderfully plump as the coleslaw rests in your fridge.
Zest whichever type of citrus you have chosen, and add that to your bowl as well. Juice your citrus and add the juice directly to your bowl of veg. Add 1-2 tablespoons of vinegar, again directly to the bowl, and drizzle 1-2 tablespoons of honey over everything. If you’re using fresh herbs, (thyme, mint, lemon-balm, cilantro, sage, or parsley to name just a few) be generous and slice them thinly. Add to bowl. One of my favourite combinations is fresh herbs and red chile flakes. For spices, use them a little bit more sparingly (1-3 teaspoons) because they will be more potent, you can always add more after the slaw is mixed. Finally, pour 2-4 tablespoons of olive oil over everything. You want just enough to soften and coat the vegetables, but not enough to make it oily.
Mix everything together; I recommend using your hands and massaging the dressing into the slaw. Keep turning and massaging until the dressing, herbs, and honey are well distributed throughout. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired.