VIBRANT WINTER SLAW WITH CITRUS VINAIGRETTE

by GABRIELA NADINE

Vibrant Winter Slaw with Citrus Vinaigrette ~ I love a great slaw any time of the year, but there’s a special place in my heart for this root veggie salad that brightens up my winter menu with a blast of color and an epic crunch!  It’s low calorie, packed with vitamins, minerals, and lots of fiber. 

If you’re craving color and crunch in your meals lately, I’ve got  just the thing for you.  It’s bright and cheerful, easy to put together, and gives you an opportunity to try some of those winter veggies you might pass up at the supermarket .  There’s no cooking involved, just peel and shred.

Spoon this alongside meatloaf, roasted pork or chicken, or any type of fish.  Pack up the leftovers for lunch.

Slaws generally keep their texture and crispness longer than regular salads because they’re made with sturdy cabbage, and in this case, kale, too.  Those greens aren’t as delicate as lettuce, and won’t wilt.  You can safely dress this slaw and leave it overnight, it will even hold up ok for a couple more days, as long as you don’t shred your veggies too finely.

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A trip to our farmers market inspired this salad.  I know we’re not all equally blessed with year round produce markets, and since I’m in Los Angeles where the farmers markets go all year long, I feel compelled to haul myself out of bed early on Sundays and take advantage.  I don’t think I’ve ever bought more in a single visit than I did last week ~ winter veggies are heavy!

  • red, golden, and Chioggia beets
  • fennel
  • kolrabi
  • carrots
  • kale
  • red cabbage
  • Savoy or Napa cabbage

TIP: When I use red beets I find it helpful to toss the shreds lightly in olive oil first, and add them at the last minute to the slaw.  This helps keep them from turning everything pink.

The thing that separates a slaw from a salad is the shredding.

There are a few ways you can shred your slaw…when it comes to cabbage you can slice it very thinly with a large sharp knife and then cut it into shreds.  But for really dense vegetables like beets you’ll need to use either a food processor with a shredding disk, or a mandoline that has the shred setting.  The mandoline slicer is my choice because the shreds are even and a little thicker than you get from a food processor or a box grater.  Just be sure to use the protective guard, especially with hard veggies like beets.

TIP: It’s essential that your shredded veggies are completely dry or your slaw will be soggy.  If you wash your cabbage and the shreds are dripping, dry them on an absorbent kitchen towel before adding them to the bowl.

And I couldn’t leave winter citrus out of this recipe, so it became a bright vinaigrette.  Use any citrus fruit you like, I had juicy tangerines.

I also added a few spices to my slaw ~ a tiny bit of fennel, caraway, mustard, and celery seeds.  They add a nice complexity to the salad and give it a subtle Eastern European vibe.

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