Slaws don't have to be made with shredded cabbage. And in my book, they don't have to include mayonnaise. I've expanded my definition of slaw to include a host of interesting vegetables. If I can shred it and dress it, it's slaw. Many vegetables can benefit from this shredding and dressing idea; fennel, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and beets. Slaw isn't limited to summer picnics and barbecues. I think the best slaw is made from a short list of seasonal ingredients, especially in winter. Here I chose kohlrabi, the light green vegetable pictured below. The name stems from the German word for cabbage, kohl. It's delicious raw. If you've ever had jicama, you'd be in the right ballpark as far as flavor comparisons go. It's similar to cabbage or a broccoli stem, but sweeter; though not nearly as sweet as an apple. The outer layer gets peeled away revealing a mild pale green, almost ivory flesh. There's something very clean and appealing about kohlrabi.
I let my senses guide me on a trip through the winter market as I picked up a few other additions that would play nicely off the kohlrabi. This included my favorite carrots, an enormous orange and stumpy yellow guy, and the most lovely baby radishes. Have you ever seen something more delicate looking? I ran my knife over a few handfuls and created whisper thin slices to add texture, color, and crunch. After all, we eat first with our eyes. I tried out a few dressings before finally deciding on a Dijon vinaigrette. Be sure to use good quality white wine vinegar. I'm glad I was fussy about this process because the dressing worked out to be just tangy enough with a touch of lemony sweetness. Some snipped chives add a mild onion flavor. You can also make this slaw ahead of time. In fact, it allows the flavors to really come together if made the day before serving.
I believe I'm onto something here and I hope you'll think so too. It's crunchy, light, and refreshing. I'm actually eating my third bowl as I write this post. The first I had standing over the stove while cooking a black bean burger, and the second alongside it. The more I eat it, the more I find myself falling for it. I think this vibrant slaw would be a welcome addition to any winter spread. I hope you'll seek out kohlrabi and expand your slaw definition to include this recipe. Leave the mayo behind and let the lusting begin.
~Kohlrabi Slaw Recipe~
1/2 medium kohlrabi julienned (4 cups loosely packed)1 cup tightly packed grated carrots
8 baby radishes, sliced paper thin
chives for garnishing
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp honey
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 pinches of sea salt
a grind of fresh black pepper
1 tbsp fresh snipped chives
Use a vegetable peeler or knife to remove the outer layer of the kohlrabi. Using a mandolin or knife, carefully slice the kohlrabi into thin sheet slices. Julienne each slice into matchsticks. In a large bowl, add kohlrabi, grated carrots, and baby radishes and give a quick toss with your hands. Make the dressing in a small bowl by whisking together Dijon, white wine vinegar, lemon juice, and honey. Stream in olive oil and whisk until combined. Season with sea salt, black pepper and fresh snipped chives. Pour over slaw and give it a good tossing. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Serves 4-6.