By now you may have noticed that I like a crunchy slaw. There are endless versions to try. What renders salad into slaw at a most basic level, is an abundance of crisp vegetables—cut just so. Shredded with a box grater or sharp knife or cut into julienne, matchstick-sized lengths—any of these will do. It all depends on your preference. For some reason the mere act of cutting the veggies this way creates a different feeling in the mouth—something close to sublime. Ask any crunchy-raw-vegetable-addicted slaw fiend.
For the mixture specifics look to the fridge as well as what’s arrived in this week’s delivery, then get creative. It’s wise to add a little onion, some herbs, nuts or seeds for flavor. Perhaps some fruit for a hint of sweetness. Some chopped olives or a few capers. Dress with a bottled dressing if you like, or better yet, one of your own design. You can go cole slaw traditional, mustardy French, or chili pepper-spiked Mexican and more. This version turns to Asia with ginger, soy sauce, sesame oil, cilantro and peanuts. It’s a winner as is, or vary as you like. Add cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, turnip, chopped kale, spinach, celery. You get the idea.
Kohlrabi is a member of the healthy brassica family that tastes a bit like its cousin, broccoli. It’s got the perfect profile for slaw—firm and crunchy. Be sure to peel it well to remove the tough, fibrous outer layer. The tender, white core is what you want. If you can’t find kohlrabi substitute cabbage.
- 2 medium kohlrabi, peeled and cut into matchstick pieces
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into matchstick pieces
- 4 red radishes, cut into matchstick pieces
- 1/2 red bell pepper, cored and cut into thin strips
- 1/4 cup red onion or 3 scallions, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 2 teaspoons honey or agave nectar
- 1 teaspoon soy or tamari sauce
- 1 teaspoon creamy peanut butter
- 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 pinch red pepper flakes
- 1 tablespoon minced ginger
- 1 clove garlic, pressed
- 1/2 cup peanuts
- 1 cup chopped cilantro or arugula
- A sprig of mint, leaves removed and chopped (optional)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Fresh lime juice
- Place kohlrabi, carrots, radish, bell pepper and onion in a large bowl.
- Mix vegetable oil, sesame oil, honey/agave, soy/tamari sauce, peanut butter, vinegar, red pepper, ginger and garlic together in an empty, clean jelly jar. Screw on the lid tightly and shake to combine. Allow the flavors to meld for 10 minutes.
- Toss dressing with vegetables, mixing ingredients together to combine. Add peanuts and cilantro/arugula and mint (if using) and mix again. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Squeeze some fresh lime juice over the top before serving.