October 9, 2013

Beet & Carrot Slaw

Coleslaw is a summer staple, with crisp cabbage and carrots tossed in creamy, tangy dressing. As delicious as coleslaw is, however, something doesn't feel quite right about making it and eating it this time of year. But who says slaw always has to be the typical blend of vegetables and dressing? I found a way to make slaw with fall and winter root vegetables in a balsamic-based dressing, and it couldn't be better.

One of the few ingredients I kept in my slaw was carrots. They are perfect for any recipe any time of year, and I love the color and crunch they add to this particular one. I julienned my own, but you can buy them shredded to save time. I also added jicama, which isn't quite as common. It's kind of like an apple-potato hybrid, so it has lots of crunch and a slightly sweet flavor. 

The last main vegetable is beets. Like the jicama, it's pretty likely that you'll have to julienne it yourself, but all you have to do is peel it and slice it. Be careful not to stain your hands or cutting board; the beets are pretty juicy and the beautiful red-purple color will bleed into your tools. It will also soak into the slaw, making it pinker the longer it sits. The slaw is best after it can sit and marinate for a few hours, but sacrifice some of the taste and serve it immediately if you want to better preserve the trio of colors.

The dressing is last, and it's not your typical buttermilk or mayonnaise base. It's more of a vinaigrette, and it has some lemon juice and balsamic vinegar for acidity, honey for sweetness, and cayenne for spice. You can always mince in some spicier peppers or add more cayenne for a spicier dressing, but I like the vegetables to stand out as well. The juice from the beets will add more flavor and a beautiful color as well the longer it sits. It won't sit for too long, though, because you'll want to serve it with everything. This slaw would be the ideal accompaniment to chicken, steak, or any other dish you plan on cooking this season.

4 Carrots, Julienned
1 Beet, Julienned
1 Small Jicama, Julienned
2 T Lemon Juice
1 T Balsamic Vinegar
1 Clove Garlic, Minced
1/2 Cup Diced Red Onion
1 tsp Honey
1/2 tsp Paprika
Pinch Cayenne
1/4 Cup Olive Oil

Combine the lemon juice, vinegar, garlic, honey, paprika, and cayenne. Slowly whisk in the oil, then add the onions. Toss with the carrots, beets, and jicama.

Serves 6-8
Recipe Adapted from Young Sun Huh

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