I’ve always loved red cabbage and fresh home-made coleslaw. I think it is a throw back to spending time with my Auntie Tede (my grandmother’s sister) who married a country man and lived in what I thought of as the depths of the country side when I was growing up.
She had coal fires and a doll’s chest which I remember was as big as I was. We were allowed to explore upstairs and bring a perfectly preserved china doll, complete with glass eyes and beautiful home-made clothes, down to the parlour to play with. Her home-made lunches were always a real treat and she would spend what seemed to me to be days making everything fresh and special for our visit.
A homemade salad or slaw is a real pick me up. Packed with fresh ingredients and amazing aromas these are 3 of my favourites.
Red Cabbage Slaw with Fennel and Pistachio
200g red cabbage
50 g wild rocket
50g fresh fennel (about half a bulb)
2 teaspoons fennel seeds
40g shelled pistachio nuts
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon chipotle chilli flakes
50g non dairy yogurt
Zest and juice of half a lemon
Salt and black pepper to season
Finely slice the red cabbage and fennel and add to a bowl. Add the wild rocket.
Heat a heavy pan over a low heat and add the fennel seeds. Toasts for a few minutes until lightly golden and their fabulous aroma is released. Gently crush the seeds before adding them to the cabbage together with the pistachio nuts and chilli flakes. Drizzle over the olive oil and mix together. I like to do this with my hands!
Whisk the yogurt and lemon juice and zest together and when ready to serve drizzle over the law. If I’m keeping a portion for another day I tend to leave the dressing off the slaw and add it just as I serve it to keep it fresh and the slaw crunchy.
Asian Inspired Slaw
300g red cabbage
200g carrots peeled
200g Asian radish (white or black)
100g sugar snap peas
½ fresh pomegranate
Zest and juice of 1 lime
½ bunch fresh coriander
2 tablespoons tahini
1 teaspoon tamari – gluten free soy sauce
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Zest and Juice of half a lime
1 clove garlic
½ teaspoon fresh ginger – grated
½ tea spoon maple syrup or coconut sugar
50ml cold filtered water
Finely slice the red cabbage, carrots and radish. I use a mouli for the carrots and radish but you can do this with a knife or even grate them if you want.
Slice the sugar snap peas length ways.
Remove the seeds from the pomegranate
Combine everything in a large bowl, add the lime juice and zest, coriander and mix together with your hands.
Add all the ingredients into a blender or nutri-bullet and blitz until smooth. Add more liquid if necessary. If it seems too thin place it in the fridge and it will thicken up like mayonnaise.
When ready to assemble, mix the dressing into the slaw and serve dressed with fresh coriander. Again like the Red Cabbage Slaw if I’m keeping a portion for another day I tend to leave the dressing off the slaw and add it just as I serve it to keep it fresh and the slaw crunchy.
Spicy Asian and Mango Slaw
Omit the pomegranate and add half a chopped fresh ripe mango and ½ tea spoon chipotle chilli flakes to the slaw.
Omit the pomegranate and add 1 - 2 chopped fresh persimmon to the slaw.
Chinese Cabbage and Ginger Slaw
There are some amazing beetroot in our organic box at the moment so I was inspired to create a new slaw to accompany them. I love the pale pink and white stripes of the Barbabietola Di Chioggia variety so used them here but any beetroot will work. Wear rubber gloves when you are grating them or you’ll end up with pink stained hands!
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
6 tablespoons tamari – gluten free soy sauce (or make our own see below
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of 2 lemons
2” piece of fresh ginger – grated
200g red cabbage
3 raw beetroot
1 head Chinese cabbage
Whisk the apple cider vinegar, tamari, lemon juice and zest in a bowl. Set aside
Grate beetroot and carrots into the bowl and add the ginger. Finely slice the red cabbage and cut the Chinese cabbage into fine strips and add to the bowl. Toss in the dressing and mix with your hands to cover everything. Again you may want to wear rubber gloves to stop the beetroot turning your hands pink!
Serve with vegie burgers, falafel etc or add to a one bowl as the base for the addition of hummus, beans, avocado etc
To make your own raw tamari substitute
1 portabello mushroom
1 tablespoon salt
2 cups water
Place the mushroom and salt in the blender with 1/2 cup of the water. Blend on high speed for 10 seconds, slowly add the remaining water through the top while continuing to blend. Strain the liquid to remove any mushroom chunks. Place in an airtight jar in the fridge – keeps for 1 – 2 weeks.