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fall vegetable slaw with hot + sweet ginger dressing


I’m struggling with how to begin this post since my head has been a bit of a jumble this week. I’m trying to fathom certain things while feeling a surge of awe visiting me now and again from simple experiences–turning the volume up beyond reason in the car during twilight hour drives is a good example. Another one: this film in its entirety. One more: I loaded fresh batteries and film into a much-neglected old camera last weekend and whoa! The thing works.

All the while I’m forgetting things, trying to peel myself away from the news here and there, waking up SO early and maybe drinking a bit too much coffee most days. My mind is floating in and out of dreamy-spacey and obsessively interested. Daylight savings/the entire world has thrown me for a loop and I’m slow to admitting defeat.

I’ve been reading so much news in general and when you feel a distinct geographical separation from everything, your heart-mind seems to rise to the occasion as an appropriate response. There’s a tendency to forget about your dependence on others and what they reflect back in your life. Beauty and goodness become cloudier concepts when you read about the trials of others that aren’t so entirely other. They become questions with no answer, but a prevailing will to get back to a place of familiarity seems to rise.

A preoccupation with trying to eat as many healthy/immune boosting foods as possible has bubbled up. This concern is creating its own little foggy space up there, but proving to be a worthy detachment strategy. I’m going on a little trip soon and I’ll be damned if I come down with something that has me sniffling on the beach. An hour doesn’t pass without thoughts of what leaf, seed, herbal tincture-thingy, protein source I’m going to eat next, which is admittedly silly but on it goes. Green juices, this unbelievably restorative hot detox drink from Elenore, vegetables galore and herbal teas have been in constant rotation. I’m usually wholesome on the meal and snack choices tip, but this has become a rather sincere endeavor.

So eventually I got to tangling up some of my favourite vegetables in another effort to de-jangle myself on all fronts. I didn’t totally plan on sharing this, but we loved it so much that I just felt compelled to. This slaw is lovely to lay eyes on with all of its fall colours, wispy shreds and crunchy bits. Cruciferous vegetables have always been some of my favourites. The light spiciness of raw cabbage and brussels sprouts is so pleasing here, their crinkly leaves soaking up an incredibly zippy and fresh ginger dressing. The idea was to kind of bathe a bunch of crunchy leaves and seeds in something that suggested the flavour of spicy ginger tea. There’s shaved fennel and pears too, detectable shreds of parsley for a bitter peppery note and a big scatter of warm and toasty sunflower seeds.

An overflowing bowl of the spicy-sweet with rioting colours in the hands, big awe for the world at large in my heart. Hope you’re all keeping well and taking care of each other.


fall vegetable slaw with hot + sweet ginger dressing
serves: 8-10
notes: I might veer towards thicker shreds if you need to hold the slaw for a bit. I went super thin (as you can see) and the dressing saturated the salad way quick so we ate it up. I use a Japanese mandoline (pro tip: a Benriner is the only one worth your hard-earned money) for all the slicing/shredding, but some good knife work will carry you through if need be.

dressing:
1-2 inch piece of ginger, peeled and minced
juice of 1 lemon
2-3 tbsp honey or agave nectar
pinch of cayenne (as much as you want)
salt and pepper
1/2 cup grapeseed or other neutral oil

slaw:
1/2 head red cabbage, cored and shredded
1/2 lb brussels sprouts, shredded
2 kale stalks, stems removed and finely sliced
2 green onions, thinly sliced
10 sprigs of parsely, leaves sliced
1 small fennel bulb, halved, cored and shaved thin
1 semi-ripe bosc pear, cored and thinly sliced
1/3 cup sunflower seeds, toasted
salt and pepper

Make the dressing: combine all of the ingredients in a blender and flip to high for 30 seconds. Taste for seasoning and set aside. If you don’t have a blender, whisk the finely minced ginger, lemon juice, cayenne, salt and pepper together to combine. Slowly drizzle the grapeseed oil into the ginger mixture while whisking until thoroughly mixed.

Toss all of the slaw ingredients except for 2 tablespoons of sunflower seeds with a a good amount of salt and pepper. Pour the ginger dressing over top and mix with your hands to combine. Scatter remaining sunflower seeds over the top and serve.

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jaime @ sweet road08/11/2012 - 2:17 pm

The variety of ingredients here makes a beautifully colorful dish, especially for winter!

Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar08/11/2012 - 2:24 pm

Beautiful salad, as always! Great flavour combo!

Elenore Bendel Zahn08/11/2012 - 2:41 pm

Laura Laura Laura <3

You have such a gorgeous shining heart it´s blinding!
Be kind to yourself and see that all that fog might have something absolutely great to show you…
I am very happy to see that I piece of me is keeping you company, my darling!

Be well, shine, thrive and love. So much love.
E

janet @ the taste space08/11/2012 - 3:18 pm

This looks fabulous! I agree, I have been embracing more and more veggies this month and I love the colourful nature of this slaw. It reminds me a bit of my detox salad with broccoli and cauliflower and sunflower seeds with an autumn twist. :)

la domestique08/11/2012 - 3:47 pm

Yum- I love a nice crisp slaw, and this one is full of so many great ingredients! I too have been completely discombobulated lately, and nothing seems to remedy it. Last night I walked a block right past the bus station without noticing, so deep in thought, and had to turn around and double back to catch my bus. Bonkers!

Eileen08/11/2012 - 4:15 pm

Cabbage, kale, and pears–hooray! This has to be one of the most autumnal salads ever. :)

Jeanine08/11/2012 - 4:45 pm

Those pear slices — so pretty! So creative, I love all of these different colors and textures… so creative…

Kathryn08/11/2012 - 5:25 pm

I seriously, seriously love slaws and I totally adore the flavours in this. I hope it helped to de-jangle you :)

Lena09/11/2012 - 6:05 am

This is just beautiful! All those colors together. I can help but thinking that some toasted peanuts would be great on this. And now I cant get this slaw out of my head, until I make it myself.

Kathryne09/11/2012 - 10:26 am

Can’t stop shaking my head at the beauty of this post, Laura. Love every little thing about it.

Julia Marks09/11/2012 - 10:38 am

Wow. What a beautiful and exciting salad.

[...] fall vegetable slaw looks ah-mazing! I will kiss you if you make this for me. [...]

[...] the house, wrapped up tightly in a blanket. (Why a lemon so early in the morning? Well, thanks to Laura, I have very quickly become hooked on this drink.) Perhaps it was the cool air that slowed my [...]

sarah10/11/2012 - 12:02 am

Lovely! This looks so delicious, what a great bunch of flavors.
And, loved your thoughts here. There is just too much to process! Some days I don’t think we were made for all this information. ‘There’s a tendency to forget about your dependence on others and what they reflect back in your life. Beauty and goodness become cloudier concepts…’ I’ve been working this out, too. xo

Lindsay11/11/2012 - 2:12 pm

I love your writing and how you phrase your current state of mind so eloquently. Reading your blog is such a treat and I always look forward to a new posting with anticipation. This slaw looks delicious! Looking forward to trying that dressing :)

Ana Cooks12/11/2012 - 10:40 am

More than your wonderful recipes, i’m even more in love with your shots. Great photography!
Thanks for the inspiration!

[...] Fall Vegetable Slaw with Hot + Sweet Ginger Dressing – from The First Mess [...]

[…] De salades de chou sucré-salées, coupées très finement. […]

Judy King15/11/2013 - 4:46 pm

This sounds delicious! I have been playing around with raw brussel sprouts in a variety of ways because I have never learned to enjoy them cooked. I was just thinking that the sweet and sour dressing my mom made for a wilted salad sounded like my next experiment, but your ideas of adding some ginger and fennel sounds even better! Thanks!

[…] dressing is adapted from this recipe from The First Mess blog (it is gorgeous, check it […]

[…] this Fall Vegetable Slaw just made my mouth water with it’s use of fennel and […]

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