Meatless Monday: Asian purple cabbage salad with a creamy cilantro vinaigrette

A fresh and healthy salad with a zesty cilantro vinaigrette

Beyond The Peel
Cabbage, carrots, and radishes combine with fresh mint and a cilantro dressing to create a delicious and rejuvenating salad.

Do you know a good name for coleslaw other than coleslaw?

There might not be one – which is really too bad – because coleslaw has so much potential and quite a bit of flexibility. It also packs a ton of nutrients in one small package. Too bad the name isn’t so attractive.

Coleslaw and potato salads are those two quintessential salads for any successful barbeque. But not the nasty kind you get from the grocery store with all the questionable ingredients, overly drowned with nasty dressing, so no vegetable flavor remains.

No. Not that kind.

But rather the kind where the cabbage is still crisp and fresh, perfectly dressed with just the right amount of dressing so it compliments all the other flavors. Or a potato salad made with new potatoes, either boiled to perfection and soft but not mushy, or roasted and delicious (I’ll have to make one of those soon).

Back to coleslaw. The best part of coleslaw is that it is highly adaptable. Change the dressing and you change the salad. This allows it to pair well with almost any barbeque theme, and it’s always perfect for fish or grilled chicken.

No matter how hard I try to sell this coleslaw, it still won’t sound as appetizing as it would if it had a different name.

So instead of slaw, I’ll just call it a cabbage salad. After all, it’s not really assembled like a slaw. It’s not a slaw here, but it can be done either way. Combining all the ingredients together is an option, but it doesn’t look very pretty that way. I chose to do a deconstructed version of a coleslaw to highlight all the wonderful ingredients and the freshness of the flavors.

Not only is it filling, but it’s low in calories and you’ll feel healthier just for having eaten it!

Asian Purple Cabbage Salad

1/2 head of Purple Cabbage or 6 cups
1 carrot, julienned or shredded
4 radishes, thinly sliced
1 bunch fresh mint, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted

In a small frying pan over medium high heat, toast the sesame seeds until golden. It should take about 1 minute. To assemble the salad, add all the ingredients in a large bowl. Add the dressing and toss to coat. If you own a mandoline, it will make chopping the carrot and radishes super fast.

Alternately, spoon 1-2 tablespoons of dressing onto a plate. Layer the ingredients separately on a plate on top of the dressing. Garnish with toasted sesame seeds.

Asian Dressing

2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon tamari  or low sodium soy sauce
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1/2 teaspoon srirachi sauce or other hot sauce
1/2 tablespoon maple syrup or other sweetener

Using a blender or an emulsion blender, combine all the ingredients above until smooth and creamy.

Related post on Beyond The Peel: Zucchini Salad with Feta, Mint and a Parsley Vinaigrette

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