Winter Vegetable Slaw

November 14, 2016

I can't write a post so soon after the US election and not talk about what happened with my old neighbours to the south. Part of what frightens me most about the outcome of the election is that it wasn't really that surprising. A xenophobic, racist, sexist ass was elected, and he never tried to hide any of those disgusting traits while campaigning. Instead, he ran wild with hate filled rhetoric and the people not only embraced it but became more open about their willingness to hate, too.

I am the child of an immigrant to Canada, and often told coworkers and others when they tried to engage me in a harmful conversation (usually about children in our classrooms) about 'problems' immigrants pose to a country that is made up of almost entirely immigrants. The real issue in the US isn't one of immigration, though. It is pure racism. Immigrants of a different skin colour are not welcome, but white people are still fine. The new president's wife is an immigrant, but that's okay, because she's white. It's horrifying. We can talk about the state of the US education system as being a factor here, but many other nations are engaging in the same type of rhetoric and seeing growth in far-right political parties. Germany is seeing support for neo-nazi parties as the number of refugees swell, and this is a country that remembers very well what happened last time leaders with those kinds of ideas were in power.

America is facing four years of fear and hate. But our daily actions, even those of us who don't live there, can alter the course of what could become a nation that is even more deeply broken than it is now. You can show public support for refugees, immigrants, people of colour, and women. You can support organizations that fight for human rights. You can keep fighting, or start fighting.

One of my all-time favourite musicians, Leonard Cohen, died this week as well. Have a listen to my most loved song by one of the best artists of our time in his honour. I listen to this song every evening as I do blog and recipe related work and it is so poignant and beautiful.

Let's move on to the recipe.

If you're not familiar with slaw, it's often called coleslaw and it's a cabbage based salad. You might have turned your nose up to it as a child if it was served alongside your hot dog at a barbecue or some other outdoor meal (I always hated it) and it's normally some bland cabbage in a weird, sweet, mayonnaise based dressing. It is horrible, but this is not. We're departing from the kind of slaws I've unwillingly eaten with my boyfriend's family or at other western Canadian homes and embracing a crispy, bright salad that features the best of the season.

My version includes apples, carrots, kohlrabi, beets, and purple cabbage. If you're planning on making it ahead of time and especially if you're serving it to guests, you could use golden beets instead of red and choose green cabbage. The deep purple shades bleed into the other ingredients and turn everything pink within a half hour of mixing. This is a very simple salad and the vegetables can be changed depending on personal preference. Like my potato and lentil salad, mayo is left out altogether here and replaced with a lighter, brighter dressing. This time it's apple cider vinegar to complement the apples in the salad, with plenty of mustard for a bit of a kick. We tend to eat mostly cooked vegetables during the colder months and this is a good way to get some raw foods in while staying seasonal.

You have a couple of options for the salad in terms of size - if you're serving this to kiddos with little mouths, try grating the vegetables instead of slicing them. A food processor will speed things up a lot in that case. If you have a very sharp knife you can slice everything thinly by hand if you don't mind things a little chunkier and extra crunchy (my choice) and it will keep very well for up to two weeks in the fridge if you go with larger pieces. Grating, however, will spread the dressing over everything more easily. It's essentially two different salads depending on how you choose to cut up the vegetables, and they're both good.

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Winter Vegetable Slaw
Serves six as a side


3 apples
1 kohlrabi stem, peeled
2 carrots
3 beets
1/2 head purple cabbage

Grate or julienne/slice all of the ingredients and place them in a large bowl. Cut the apples last so they don't brown before you add the dressing (local apples usually brown very quickly).


1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon maple syrup or honey
Salt and pepper to taste

Stir or shake all of the ingredients together until combined and pour over the salad. Mix the salad thoroughly to coat everything in the dressing and serve. It's even better the second day and keeps well in the fridge.

1. Of course, the number of each type of vegetable you use is going to depend on their size. You're trying to get about equal amounts of everything, with a little more (about 1.5:1) of cabbage.
2. Try radishes, daikon, parsnips, rutabaga, or celery root as a substitution for any of the root vegetables in the recipe.

8 comments on "Winter Vegetable Slaw"
  1. oh yum. It has been too long since I have eaten kohlrabi. I love it in salads. :)

    1. I love kohlrabi too - much more raw than cooked!

  2. I love a good slaw recipe. I like the addition of apples but what really caught my eye was the red cabbage. Definitely the underdog when it comes to slaws! That red color is so vibrant, it adds the perfect color to salads and other meals where a lot of the time browns and greens dominate!

    1. Me too! The red cabbage looks beautiful until it sits for a few hours, and then everything turns bright pink, ha.

  3. Mmm, I've been craving a fresh winter salad lately and this fits the bill perfectly! Just pinned and look forward to trying it this season. Thanks so much for the gorgeous inspiration, Alexandra! I hope you're doing well.

    1. Thank you so much, Justine! You too, sweet lady :)

  4. This looks gorgeous! I love using red cabbage in salads as well and will surely give this one a try. Your photography is impeccable and so spot on!