Sweet & Sour Autumn Slaw

Who doesn’t love a nice crunchy slaw? This one is packed with flavor that only gets better with time.

Sometimes I find the weirdest things at the farmers market. This week, my eyes spied a cone-shaped cabbage. Yes. Connie Conehead would have snapped it up in a minute. I already had a head of radicchio in my basket, so my mind traveled to the world of coleslaw. Not overly sweet, gloppy coleslaw, which has never been a favorite of mine, but something light and crisp and perfect as we transition from summer to fall.

Hot and cold, summer and fall

      And it really felt like a transition this week. 82 humid degrees in the day, and 42 chilly ones at night. When the weather changes, so do the farm offerings. I’ve been scouting out more sources for my cooking adventures, and was delighted to find a really excellent farmers market on Saturday mornings in Shelburne. They had lots of farmers in attendance, as well as the much-desired crafts, including woodworkers, jewelry, pottery, aromatherapy and other herbal cosmetics from local plants. There was plenty to choose from in the prepared food stalls as well, so lunch was a snap to put together.

But I really came for the produce, and I was not disappointed. There was still a bounty of summer squashes, colorful peppers, and green beans, but they were slowly being edged out by vibrant beets, cabbages, and hardy squashes. We found autumn strawberries, lovely local shiitake mushrooms, and Brussels sprouts. There was many a colorful cauliflower to be had as well, and I chose a deep purple, remembering that the deeper the color, the more minerals in the vegetable.

A little of this, and a little of that

      The slaw I created used both the cone-head cabbage (which, of course, tasted exactly like round-head cabbage), radicchio, a few scallions, some snow pes, a lovely little carrot, and peanuts for more crunch. You can use whatever cabbage you find, and swap out any onion family for the scallions, but pick something on the sweeter side. Allergic to nuts? Leave them out, or substitute toasted sesame seeds. 

      My dressing evolved into a lovely sweet and sour using all those flavors that love each other: lemon, ginger, sesame, and honey. You could also use maple syrup, or another syrup of choice. Always adjust according to your own taste. Do you want it sweeter, or more sour? More sesame? Just mix it up, and taste with a piece of cabbage dunked in, not straight up. Straight up, it will probably taste too acidic.

Healthful and delicious

I don’t need to tell you how healthful this dish is, easily made vegan by substituting maple syrup, dairy- and gluten-free, so you can please just about everyone. I do have to mention the delightful flavor. Just a little sweet, just a little sour, and the vegetables shine through. Since moving one’s home and kitchen is a chore no matter how you approach it, I was glad that this one makes mass quantities, and will taste great even two days later, so lunch is already taken care of. Or two!

Sweet and Sour Autumn Slaw

  • 1 small green cabbage, shredded
  • 1 small head radicchio, shredded
  • 3 scallions, sliced
  • 3 oz. snow peas, chopped and blanched
  • 1 carrot, diced and blanched
  • 1 small red pepper, chopped
  • 1/3 cup roasted peanuts, save some for garnish

Ginger Lemon Sesame Dressing

  • 1 tbsp. grated ginger, on microplane
  • 3 cloves garlic through a press
  • Zest and juice of one juicy lemon
  • 1 tbsp. rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. native honey
  • 1 tbsp. toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp. neutral oil
  • Splash or two of hot sauce
  • Salt and pepper to taste

            Prep all the vegetables. I used a chef’s knife to slice the cabbage, but you can use a grater, food processor, or mandoline. 

            Blanch the snow peas for about 30 seconds in boiling water, then immediately cool under cold running water. Blanch the carrots for a minute or two, just until tender, then cool likewise.

            Place all the vegetables in a large mixing bowl, mix them up, then add salt and pepper to where you like it.

            Combine all dressing ingredients in a canning jar and shake like crazy until well combined. Taste. Do you want it sweeter? More acid? You know how you like it.

            Dress the salad and mix it well. Taste and correct seasoning if necessary. Top with peanuts and let set for at least an hour for the flavors to work their magic and get to know each other.

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53 Comments Add yours

  1. Anonymous says:

    I love the addition of ginger in the dressing!

    1. Thanks! The ginger really livens it up, and adds a little heat.

  2. Suzassippi says:

    Beautiful as well as nutritious–wish I had some right now! That Farmer’s Market looks wonderful.

    1. It was better than I hoped for, so I am a happy camper!

  3. Ronit says:

    This is such a wonderful mixture of veggies, and the dressing sounds irresistible!
    Your photos made me miss Vermont farm stands! 🙂

    1. They are wonderful, aren’t they Ronit? So much variety, and a social time for everyone, from the music to the food and the meeting of folks.

      1. Ronit says:

        They definitely are! 🙂

      2. I know we are fortunate to have so much lovely produce at our fingertips, even in winter. Our CSA provides all their root vegetables, fresh greens, eggs, cheeses, local meats and frozen produce from the summer, and we are forever grateful for all this.

  4. Wow what a lovely blending of the seasons in one dish! Mmmm you’re making me think of radicchio now, I can’t wait to get my hands on some!

    1. Thank you Nigella! Love the bitterness of radicchio, and it works so well with the cabbage.

  5. MaryLou says:

    perfect any day side dish. I liek slaw with a touch of sweetness from fruits and dressing That purple Cauliflower is gorgeous!

    1. The cauliflower caught my eye, and my granddaughter’s too!

  6. nancyc says:

    I’m a big fan of coleslaw–the dressing for this sounds so good! 🙂

    1. Thank you Nancy! It’s a really good combination, and I was pleased how it turned out.

  7. NativeNM says:

    This colorful slaw looks so appealing. And I love the dressing; it sounds like the perfect blend of tart and sweetness to bring it all together.

    1. Thanks Jan! Everything really played nicely together!

  8. It looks like a great slaw salad, I bookmarked it.

    1. I hope you like it as much as we did!

  9. Amanda says:

    A delightful twist! Lemon and honey mixes are always welcome at my home. So good for you.

    1. Thank you! I love that combination too!

  10. Nancy says:

    I would have loved this with my fish fry last night! Yum!

    1. Oops! Just a day late! Next time!

  11. Sarah Davis says:

    I want to try this! Thanks

    1. Thank you! I hope you enjoy it!

      1. Sarah Davis says:

        Doing something similar this week for lunch with some added chicken.

      2. Perfect Sarah! What a balanced and healthy meal that will make, oh, delicious too of course!

  12. wow not your ordinary slaw. lots of good things here.

    1. Thank you Jovian! The flavors really sing!

  13. What a lovely and colorful dish! I would probably leave out the ginger but for the rest, everything sounds super delicious 😋 Sweet and sour is a combination that I love!

    1. Thank you Ribana! Sweet and sour combinations please many folks!

  14. Gail says:

    I am literally counting the days until the Farmers Markets start up again in October. I can’t wait! 🌴

    1. You will be in vegetable heaven, and probably orange heaven as well!

      1. Gail says:

        That’s for sure! 🍃🍊

  15. Jenna says:

    Beautiful salad Dorothy, it sounds like perfection to me! I love the addition of snow peas, and good that it keeps for several days, yum~

    1. Thank you Jenna! This one seemed to taste better the longer it sat! Two days after I made it, I had it for a scrumptious lunch!

  16. Chef Mimi says:

    This is wonderful. And so pretty! Makes me wish the temps have gone down already!!!

    1. It’s been crazy here! Hot an humid one day, the next chilly, but not very much yet. We’re finally getting lots of rain this week which is good for the aquifer!

  17. Ally Bean says:

    The dressing sounds delicious. So do the mix of vegetables, but that dressing is calling to me. Did someone say ginger?

    1. I alway say ginger, and then a little more ginger!

  18. Bernadette says:

    As usual Dorothy you have combined taste, eye appeal and good healthy wonderfully. I glanced through the other comments because I wondered how many people chuckled at Connie Conehead. That was one great skit.

    1. Oh I’m sure some of the youngers might not have gotten the reference, but so much of these skits are still part of our vocabulary! When my husband says he wants mass quantities, it always makes me chuckle!
      Those were the funny old days!

  19. Christy B says:

    It sounds like a yummy salad that appeals to the taste buds with the sweet and sour notes!

    1. Thanks Christy! We really enjoy this one!

  20. Carole says:

    Omygoodness! This looks just delicious and perfect for my husband and me. I can’t wait to try it. I love the dressing. Now to write down all the ingredients that i will need…
    Thank you! 🙂😋

    1. Thanks Carole! I think you’ll like this one!

  21. terrie gura says:

    I am imagining the great texture in this, Dorothy! And I love the gorgeous pictures of the farm stands. So much available, even so late in the season!

    1. Thanks Terrie!
      We’ll still get a fair amount of the summer veggies until frost, none yet this year. The harvest bounty has arrived, complete with pumpkins and apples galore!

  22. Great combination of vegetables and gorgeous dressing.

    1. Thank you so much. It was delicious and fun to eat!

  23. sunisanthosh says:

    What an irresistible dish.

  24. Rehoboth says:

    Nice Post

  25. This is beautiful and looks so healthy! I think I’ll shred some raw brussel sprouts in there too. Thanks for sharing your recipe!

    1. Thanks for stopping by!
      I know it is a pretty good year for Brussels sprouts here in southern Vermont, and last night it actually frosted!

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