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.
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
- red cabbage
- Savoy or Napa cabbage
Winter veggies can be just as colorful and vibrant as summer produce, it just takes a little more imagination…peel and slice Chioggia beets to reveal their gorgeousness.
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.
Vibrant Winter Slaw with Citrus Vinaigrette
- 1 loosely packed cup of shredded red beets
- 1 loosely packed cup of shredded golden beets
- 1 loosely packed cup of shredded Chioggia pink beets
- 1 loosely packed cup of shredded fennel
- 1/2 loosely packed cup of shredded kohlrabi
- 1 loosely packed cup of shredded carrots
- 1 loosely packed cup of shredded kale
- 1 loosely packed cup of shredded red cabbage
- 1 loosely packed cup of shredded green cabbage, Savoy or Napa
- 1/4 tsp mustard seed
- 1/4 tsp fennel seed
- 1/4 tsp caraway seed
- 1/4 tsp celery seed
- 1/4 cup fresh squeezed orange or tangerine juice
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 Tbsp Orange Blossom Vinegar, or other mild white vinegar like Champagne
- 1 tsp creamy Dijon mustard
- pinch of salt
- pinch red pepper flakes, optional
- Make the dressing first. I like to put all the ingredients in a mason jar, screw the lid on tight, and shake shake SHAKE! The shaking will emulsify the dressing, making it creamy. Once emulsified, it shouldn't separate into oil and vinegar. Taste to adjust any of the ingredients to your liking.
- Toss the shredded veggies and seeds together in a large bowl and add enough dressing to moisten. You can refrigerate the slaw several hours before serving if you'd like. Season with salt and pepper and add more dressing to taste just before serving.
Make this vibrant winter slaw your own ~
You don’t have to use such a wide variety of veggies like I did, sometimes less is more, and I love the combo of beet and fennel, for instance.
A classic creamy slaw dressing would work too: whisk together 1/2 cup mayo, 2 Tbsp sour cream, a little grated onion, 1 Tbsp white vinegar, sugar to taste (start with 1 tsp) 1 tsp dry mustard, 1 tsp celery seed, salt and pepper to taste. Thin down with a little milk if necessary. Taste and adjust anything that needs it.