Coleslaw in Winter? Why not?
I expect that many people only think of coleslaw as being a salad for the warmer weather.
Admittedly, it is often chosen from our plethora of salad ideas by our hosts for their Summer parties.
But I love coleslaw so much that I often serve it at home in the winter. Hey Ho.
After all it is prepared with mainly winter vegetables!
Bought coleslaw is a no-no if you ask me - claggy with far too much mayonnaise, vegetables cut far too thinly with no texture and somehow resulting in a gloopy mess, often with an overpowering raw onion flavour. Not nice.
Homemade coleslaw is a totally different dish and is a great way to use up a few carrots and a small piece of cabbage lurking at the bottom of the fridge – with no other home to go to.
Or perhaps you have had your fill of the usual heavier way traditional winter vegs are prepared and fancy serving them in a lighter way. Delicious served with a mid-week roast chicken and new potatoes; or with any cold chicken the next day - stuffed into a tortilla wrap or pitta bread. Roast pork can be quite a ‘heavy piece of meat’, so lighten up the meal with a posh coleslaw, a green salad with pomegranate seeds and some little new roasted potatoes.
Coleslaw is also one of those dishes (and rare for a salad) that is just as good, if not better the next day. One of my favourite lunches is to add grated cheese and enjoy for lunch – or piled onto a jacket sweet potato.
So, this is how I make it (whatever time of year!) …
As a rule, start out with roughly equal quantities of coarsely grated carrots and coarsely cut by hand cabbage – this can be a white cabbage or my favourite for flavour and texture- a savoy cabbage. You could even use a red cabbage, or ½ red and ½ white for a very colourful twist – and something we often use as a foundation for our Merrow Savouries’ summer slaws.
If you like, use more carrots than cabbage. The vegs need to be fresh and cut and grated coarsely - otherwise it will end up like bought coleslaw – slimy with no texture.
Add a dollop of mayonnaise – I don’t like too much, but up to you. Mix well with your hands or a spatula. You could leave it like that, and it will be very tasty but how about poshing it up? Add a couple of sliced spring onions (not a white or brown onion – it is too strong) and my favourite -a good handful of large sultanas.
Now what else? Really up to you – but I reckon a good coleslaw needs coarsely chopped pecans or better still roasted peanuts – be generous! How about some chopped parsley or the love it or loathe it – chopped coriander.
Slices or small chunks of fresh apple are also great – but can make the mayo go a little runny if they remain together for too long. So, if using – add at the last minute.
Other vegs that go so well in a slaw are basically anything crunchy – maybe some little cauliflower or broccoli florets or slices of peppers or celery. Or add a little Dijon mustard for a little kick and warmth, if it really is winter!
Sue Merrow Savouries