At this time of the year I crave salads – light and fresh, with lots of crunchy textures. The colder it gets, the more I want a serving of something that’s going to fill me up without weighing me down.
Cue coleslaw or, rather, a mayo-free, veg-tastic ‘slaw.
You’ll find the piece I wrote about it over on the Irish Country Living website: Reinventing coleslaw
I constantly make variations of this recipe, depending on what’s in the house to play with. Try it with all white or, alternatively, red cabbage. Pop in some shredded Brussels sprouts, substitute toasted hazel nuts for the pecans. Leave out the chilli or live dangerously and use double the amount.
And, it turns out, small people like ‘slaw too. My girls have started to demand their turn at putting the salad dressing together and like to toss it with their own customised versions of winter ‘slaw, which can include shreds of cabbage, carrot sticks, pomegranate seeds and slices of pepper. It’s not a bad deal when you have two extra sets of hands for salad tossing, and it does my heart good to see them eating it up afterwards. Don’t worry, though – this new willingness will soon lapse; normal picky eating resumes next week. We’ll make the most of it while it lasts.
Winter ‘Slaw – Cabbage, Cranberry and Pecan Salad
1 small red onion, finely diced
1 tablespoon raw cider vinegar or red wine vinegar
½ red cabbage, white core removed
½ green cabbage, white core removed
½ red chilli, finely sliced (optional)
2 red apples, cored and sliced
½ teaspoon of sea salt
75g dried cranberries
75g pecan nuts, toasted
3 tablespoons raw cider vinegar or red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons maple syrup or Highbank Orchard Syrup
3 tablespoons walnut oil or extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon wholegrain mustard (Garlic & Chili Mustard from The Green Apron is an especial favourite)
Freshly ground black pepper
Toss the red onion with 1 tablespoon cider vinegar and set aside for a few minutes to soften and mellow. Shred the red and green cabbages thinly – this is easiest in a food processor but you can also do it by hand.
Tip into a large bowl, add the red onion and vinegar, chilli and sliced apple, sprinkle with salt and toss well. Sprinkle over the dried cranberries and pecan nuts.
To make the dressing, whisk the vinegar, syrup, oil and mustards together. Season well with black pepper, pour over the shredded vegetables and toss well.
Best eaten at room temperature but keeps well in the fridge and goes really well with a Spinach and Ricotta Lasagne.