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Coleslaw is found at almost every outdoor meal – but mostly it’s the typical soggy mayonnaise-dressed, cabbage-centric boring stuff you can find in any grocery store by the pint or quart. For us, we needed to dig into the foundation of what slaw means, and how we can make it fun, and a bit healthier. There is actually no real definition of the word “slaw” – but it seems to mean shredded raw vegetables, in general.  So that’s where we’ll start.

We have the Serious Foodie version of slaw that we’ve used at many events, using carrots, raw beets, and fresh yellow peppers – then dressed it with our amazing Serious Foodie Blood Orange/Aji Panca dressing made from one of our sauces (click HERE for the recipe).  Also check out the really great Quinoa and Roasted Corn salad, which is almost a slaw by our definition (click HERE for the recipe). In this article, we present a few of our favorite combinations.  Think about using any of these combinations at your next BBQ event, or take it along the your next tailgate party.

The Slaw Primer

It’s actually quite simple.   Just pick one or more for each category:

  1. THE VEGETABLES:  Cruciferous vegetables (cauliflower, cabbage -red and/or green, garden cress, bok choy, broccoli, brussels sprouts), onions (sweet, red, green), peppers (sweet or hot), greens (shredded kale, endive, spinach), root vegetables (carrots, parsnips, turnips, radishes, beets)
  2. FRUIT (Optional):  Mangoes, oranges, berries, pears (standard or Asian), apples
  3. NUTS (Optional):  Almonds, walnuts, peanuts, pecans, hazelnuts, pinenuts
  4. MISCELLANEOUS:  Cooked raman noodles, whole grains (quinoa, brown rice, farro), roasted corn, potato crisps, pretzel thins – be creative!
  5. DRESSING: And here’s where it can become really interesting (Remember:  add the dressing about 1 hour before serving = the salad doesn’t become a soggy mess).

Suggested Great Combinations

Carrot Apple Slaw

Carrot Slaw

  1. THE VEGETABLES:  Grate 6 to 8 carrots into a salad bowl.  We used wonderful multi-colored carrots that are available this time of year – the red carrots offer wonderful color contrast.
  2. FRUIT:  Thinly slice apple into the salad bowl (you can use Asian pear, or conventional pear)
  3. NUTS:  We did not use nuts in our version – but this should work really well with toasted almond slivers.
  5. DRESSING: We use the Blood Orange/Aji Panca dressing made from one of the Serious Foodies sauces – it was a perfect match (click HERE for the recipe).

Caesar Slaw

Brussel Sprout Caesar Slaw

  1. THE VEGETABLES:  Clean and core 1/2 pounds of fresh Brussel sprouts (you can use standard cabbage).  Grate the sprouts into a salad bowl.
  2. FRUIT:  None
  3. NUTS:  1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
  4. MISCELLANEOUS:  Freshly shaved Parmesan cheese; crisp pancetta or bacon.
  5. DRESSING: We use a Meyer lemon Caesar dressing from a previous posting (click HERE for the recipe).

Asian Slaw

Asian Slaw

Serves 4 to 6

  1. THE VEGETABLES:  1 cup thinly sliced Napa cabbage or bok choy, or a combination of both; 1 cup shredded red cabbage; 1 cup shredded carrots; 1 cup thinly sliced red bell pepper; 1/2 cup julienned snap peas; 1/2 cup bean sprouts; 1/2 cup julienned green onion.
  2. FRUIT:  None
  3. NUTS:  1/2 cup peanuts
  4. MISCELLANEOUS:  Fried wonton skins (crushed over the salad at the end) – or some other crunchy component.
3 tablespoons minced ginger
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons brown sugar
5 tablespoons soy sauce
4 tablespoons mirin, or white wine
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/4 cup canola oil (or other neutral oil)

Add all the ingredients, except the oils, in a bowl, and whisk together.  Drizzle in the sesame oil while whisking; drizzle in the canola oil while whisking.  Dress the salad 1 hour before serving.

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