White Vegetable Root Slaw
Slaw signals a raw and shredded salad. The slaw we are most familiar with is the ubiquitous cabbage-centric classic cole slaw
But you can have fun making raw shedded salads, like this white vegetable root slaw, using a dozen variations on the basic I am offering here.
From Relish to Salad
What I love about this recipe, beside its deliciousness, is its versatility and elasticity. You can add drama to any first course by serving it with a generous dollop of the slaw, or you can make it into a full-on salad, even a main course one. You will be very pleased to see I have included a dozen riffs on the basic. Who knew the humble slaw could be so exciting?
I took my first inspiration from the Beloved French classic Rémoulade Sauce used in shredded celeriac, and I have run with it to dress several variations on the original. Rémoulade is primarily based on the mayo-mustard-horseradish flavor trinity: a robust match for the plainest most basic cold meats, poached chicken and fish, for shredded salads, and even as dip, and a smear on sandwiches.
White Vegetable Root Slaw: Big Flavors!
You will be amazed how many white root vegetables don’t need cooking, and can be eaten raw. We all love a perfect white vegetable purée, but a raw shredded vegetable root mix is wonderful. It can be raw as long as it is not too heavily starchy. In other words, potatoes, sweet potatoes or parsnips is not what you want here. But turnips, rutabaga, celery root, jicama, kohlrabi, daikon, etc… will all work great. Just make sure you always start with the strongest-flavored ones, like celery root, turnip and rutabaga. In other words, don’t make an all-kohlrabi or an all-jicama slaw. Get the strong tasting roots in first to guarantee an intensely flavored dish.
Starting with the Basic Recipe
This salad is sturdy and will keep a good few days in a glass jar, as long as you don’t mix it with more perishable ingredients like avocado, endive, romaine or nuts. The smart thing to do is to add these more fragile ingredients, if using, only in the portion of the dish you are serving now. Store the rest in glass jar, and garnish that next batch with the perishables, if using.
Always Start with the Rémoulade Sauce!
The shredded white roots can easily turn a un unpleasant light brown. Mix the sauce first in the bottom of the bowl. And then throw in the shredded veggies and mix quickly. This will keep them nice and white. The appeal about White Vegetable Root Slaw is not just its zippy flavor and crunchy texture but also its bright white color: this is why we work on preserving it!
- ⅓ cup low-fat mayonnaise (if mayo is a problem, substitute ⅓ cup silken tofu plus 1/4 cup olive oil)
- ⅓ cup plant milk, low-fat OK, a little more if needed
- Juice of 2 lemons
- 1/4 cup prepared white horseradish (or 2 tablespoons wasabi diluted in a little cold water)
- 1/4 cup Dijon-style mustard
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- optional: finely chopped gherkins, capers, minced dill.
6 cups total, the selection is up to you, just as long as it is dominated by the stronger vegetables: celery root, turnips, rutabaga (all strong), kohlrabi, jicama, shredded using the shredding blade of the food processor.
All additions/variations: See below
Make the remoulade
Whisk all ingredients together in a bowl. Thin with a little more milk if necessary to make a creamy sauce. Makes about 2 cups. Store refrigerated in a glass jar.
Make the salad
Use about 3/4 cup of the rémoulade and store the rest in a glass jar in the refrigerator. Quickly mix in the shredded vegetables.
These additions go only into the part you are using today. Save the rest in a glass jar for another meal in the next few days.
Make a short and sweet selection
- Add finely chopped cilantro, chives or parsley
- Add minced shallots or sliced scallions
- Add some fresh or frozen corn
- Add roasted peanuts
- Add golden raisins
- Make it a larger salad. Toss in your choice of: chopped kale leaves or mustard leaves (only the leaves, discard the ribs), watercress, endives or fennel.
- Make it a main course salad. Add some of the leaves listed above. Choose just one among these add-ins: grated parmesan, smoked salmon, mock crab, smoked turkey, sliced steak, roasted chickpeas, cooked pasta, canned beans, croutons.