Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Seeded Winter Slaw

This is the salad I keep coming back to this winter. It’s like a song stuck in my head, except there’s a bit of a different riff each time, depending on what vegetables happen to be in the fridge that particular day—and we've been wealthy in winter vegetables thanks to our Local Roots CSA share. The basics are the same: celery root, apples, and beets, all julienned matchstick thin. Sometimes I throw in some shredded cabbage, other times fennel bulb, sliced wisp thin. If I’ve come into some sunflower sprouts or lacy micro anything, I’ll throw those in too, to remind myself that Spring is right around the corner. Another punchy addition is quick-pickled shallot, which is easy enough to make if you don’t mind the extra step and just a tiny bit of advance planning. Always, I dress the whole thing up in a tart apple cider vinaigrette and scatter crunchy seeds on top with abandon. This salad—or slaw, or whatever you'd like to call it—is sturdy enough to keep until the next day with minimal change in texture…and the color is undeniably pretty. May I present:

Seeded Winter Slaw


  • 1 ½ cup shredded raw cabbage (leaves sliced thin)
  • 1 cup finely julienned raw celery root*
  • ½ cup finely julienned raw beetroot*
  • 1 small apple (keep the peel), cored and julienned*
  • 2 TBS sunflower seeds 
  • 2 tsp poppy seeds (more if you'd like)
  • Pinch of flaky sea salt 
*To julienne the vegetables, cut away the outer peel and discard, then either use the thin ⅛" (not super fine) setting on a mandoline**, OR do it by hand: cut vegetables into very thin cross sections, about  " thick, then crossways into matchsticks of about  " thick.  
For vinaigrette:
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard 
  • 1 tsp honey 
  • 2 TBS apple cider vinegar 
  • 7-8 TBS extra-virgin olive oil (or sunflower oil) 
  • Hefty pinch of sea salt 
  • A couple cranks of ground black pepper
  1. Mix up the vinaigrette in a small bowl: whisk together mustard, honey, and vinegar. Whisk in oil very gradually so that it does not separate. Taste it as you go, until you achieve just the right tartness. Add salt and pepper to taste. 
  2. In a medium bowl, toss all vegetables and apples, adding the dressing gradually and tasting occasionally, until you've gotten the right amount—you don't want it too heavy or greasy, and you will most likely have some dressing left over. 
  3. Toss with a couple big pinches of flaky sea salt and the seeds, saving a few extra to put on top of the salad when serving. If you're adding sprouts or microgreens, wait until the very end so they're still spritely when served. 
Variation: Quick-Pickled Shallots
To quick-pickle shallots, simply remove the outer layer of skin from the shallot and discard. Slice the shallot very, very thin crosswise. In a small bowl, mix a bit of vinegar (2-3 TBS) with a pinch of sugar and a pinch of salt until dissolved. Toss the shallots in this mixture and allow them to stand at room temperature for an hour or two (stir occasionally if they're not covered). 
Variation with pickled shallots and sunflower sprouts

**A note about mandolines: If you're interested in investing in one, the Japanese Benriner is relatively inexpensive on Amazon (I've linked to the older, cheaper version). They're great for slicing things very thinly, making French Fries, and julienning all sorts of stuff. You've been warned, though: they will just as easily remove a chunk of your thumb, as I've done. 

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