Salads are not strictly a warm weather dish for me. I enjoy eating them year round. The salads I make in winter are different than the summer ones though. In part it’s because I have access to different produce in winter, in part it’s because I crave different food during the long cold winter months.
I made a large pot of chili (recipe here) and wanted some salad to go with it. Although I had some fresh leafy greens on hand, I knew a colourful, crunchy slaw would be the right accompaniment to the chili. Fortunately, I had some cabbage in the fridge as it’s been making a regular appearance in my csa box this winter.
When I make slaw I like to finely chop the cabbage instead of grating it. Chopped cabbage gives the slaw some structure and keeps it crunchy. Shredded cabbage is so much smaller and has such a soft texture that I feel it gets lost with the other vegetables in the mix. However, shredding the carrots and the beets works well as it seems to help release their natural sweetness. I used Chioggia beets (aka candy cane beets) because they have a lovely deep pink colour when shredded but they don’t bleed. They also have a mild, sweet flavour when raw. Any type of beet will do though.
I like using citrus in winter salads. It adds bright, clean favour to it. This winter vegetable slaw is no exception. I used the juice of fresh limes in the vinaigrette.
The crunch of the cabbage, sweetness of the carrots and beets, and the fresh flavour provided by the lime and cilantro complement the spicy flavours and soft texture of chili as I had hoped. Chili and winter slaw really do make for comfort food on a cold winter day.
Recipe – Winter Slaw with Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette
- 1 ½ cups finely chopped cabbage (about 1/8 of a large cabbage)
- ¾ cup shredded carrot (about 2 large carrots)
- ½ cup shredded beet (about 1 medium beet)
Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette
- 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro leaves
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (about 1 large lime)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt, to taste
- Wash cabbage. Chop in half, then in quarters. Finely chop one of the quarters until have 1 ½ cups.
- Wash and scrub carrots. Peeling is optional, depending on condition of skin. Shred carrots using box grater or shredding disc on food processor.
- Wash and peel beet. Shred using grater or shredding disc on food processor.
- In medium mixing bowl, add cabbage, carrot and beets.
- In small mixing bowl, add cilantro and lime juice. Whisk in olive oil and stir until blended.
- Add vinaigrette to vegetables and toss to coat evenly.
- Add salt to taste.