On Your Plate: Spring into Slaw

Cabbage is king when it comes to slaw. Traditionally, the base ingredient in coleslaw is cabbage and will always be cabbage. When eaten raw it takes on the flavors of the things it is melded with, and cabbage is packed full of vitamins and minerals, all the stuff that’s good for you!

Cabbage is a colder weather crop, which grows great in our cool climate and short growing season. For all you gardeners out there, cabbage is the perfect hardy Wisconsin crop. The plants can be planted outdoors in early May. Some varieties are ready to harvest in 60 – 70 days and other varieties take up to 100 days.

Cabbage is a beautiful plant in all its stages. It adds texture and vibrant colors to your garden. When cutting a head of cabbage in half (especially the red variety) take a moment to honor the artful layers of the veiny labyrinth — in my opinion it’s some of Mother Nature’s best work!

Coleslaw comes in many varieties, creamy or oil and vinegar-based. It is adaptable and delicious. Coleslaw is a simple salad that can be tossed in short order to make a simple dinner fantastic!

As much as I love cabbage and will continue to incorporate it into my slaw, I encourage you to think outside the box and get creative when tossing together a crunchy spring salad.

Bon appétit!

Photo by Len Villano.

Herbed Peanut Slaw

Serves 6 – 8

3 carrots, shredded

½ head red cabbage, shredded

½ head napa cabbage, shredded

½ red pepper, julienned

1 jalapeno, julienned

1 bunch scallions, diced

½ cup roasted peanuts, chopped

fresh ginger root, grated (to taste)

salt to taste

½ cup each of basil, cilantro and mint


½ cup of vegetable oil or other mild flavored oil

2 Tbsp Sesame oil

3 Tbsp rice vinegar

juice of ½ lime

2 Tbsp creamy peanut butter

1 tsp Sriracha

1 Tbsp soy sauce or Bragg Liquid Aminos

2 – 3 garlic cloves, minced

salt and pepper to taste

Mix all prepared vegetables and herbs in a big bowl, set aside.

In a jar, add all the dressing ingredients, cover with a lid and shake vigorously until all ingredients are mixed together. Pour the dressing over the vegetables and stir until everything is coated.

Add the chopped peanuts and grated ginger root. Salt to taste. The slaw should sit for 15 – 30 minutes before serving so the dressing and flavors have an opportunity to meld. Enjoy!

Photo by Len Villano.

Creamy and Winey Slaw

Serves 4 – 6

3 – 4 carrots, shredded

½ head of savoy cabbage, sliced thin or shredded


½ cup of mayonnaise

1 Tbsp olive oil

2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

1 Tbsp white wine

½ tsp cumin seed, whole

1 tsp ground mustard

½ tsp sweet paprika

¼ cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped fine

¼ cup fresh thyme, chopped fine

salt and pepper to taste

In a jar mix all the dressing ingredients together, shake vigorously until all is mixed. Pour the dressing over the prepared carrots and cabbage, mix it up until all is coated. Let the slaw sit and marinate for 15 – 30 minutes before serving. Dressing can be made up to a day in advance for best flavor.

Photo by Len Villano.

Fennel Apple Slaw

Serves 2 – 4

1 fennel root, julienned

½ Granny Smith apple, peeled and julienned

2 stalks of celery, sliced thin

1 leek, sliced thin

3 – 4 radishes, sliced thin


½ cup mayonnaise

2 tsp apple cider vinegar

1 Tbsp white wine

1 Tbsp dijon mustard

1 tsp honey

1 tsp ground mustard

2 Tbsp fresh tarragon, chopped

salt and coarse ground pepper to taste

Place all prepped fruit and vegetables in a bowl. Shake up the dressing ingredients in a jar or whisk in a bowl. Pour the dressing over the veggie mix until well coated. Make the dressing in advance for best flavor.

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