The dawn of summertime — just over a week away — calls for barefoot lunches, iced coffee, blossoming flowers, and colorful produce. And what better food to showcase summer’s brightness than a refreshing, cooling coleslaw? Purple cabbage, white-stemmed chard, orange carrots, and green zucchini combine for the perfect combination of crunch and tang. This naturally wheatless dish is bursting with color and packs a powerful serving of Vitamins A, C and K.
The key to crunchy coleslaw? My mom taught me to toss the veggies with oil before the vinegar ever touches them. When you use this technique, the cabbage stays crisp, not soggy — and there is no sharp bitter taste.
Purple/Red Cabbage — The brilliant color isn’t just for looks. Red cabbage contains more antioxidants and phytonutrients than its pale counterpart. It’s also a fantastic source of Vitamin K and Vitamin C.
Swiss Chard — In season now through August, this slightly peppery green is a Vitamin K powerhouse. One serving of chard delivers more than 300% of your daily requirement for Vitamin K, and is also high in Vitamins C and A. Choose white-stemmed chard for the tenderest stalks.
Carrots — If you’re unable to grow your own, choose a bunch from the farmers market with the tops still attached. This quintessential flavor of summer will make you forget the horror of the slick, flavorless packaged carrots. And what’s more, a single cup will give you nearly 700% of the required daily amount of Vitamin A!
Zucchini — The target of endless jokes, zucchini doesn’t have to be dull and stringy. It’s actually a delicious raw vegetable due to its pleasantly mild flavor, blending very well with coleslaw dressing. Zucchini is a source of both Vitamin C and manganese.
Four-Color Summer Coleslaw
Shred the following into a large glass bowl:
1 head of cabbage
4 medium stalks of chard
1 medium zucchini
Toss with 1/2 cup oil until the vegetables are completely coated.
In a saucepan, combine the following:
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon celery seed
1 teaspoon sea salt
Bring to a boil, and cook for one minute. Pour the hot dressing over the cabbage mixture and toss to coat. Chill.
This is definitely a make-ahead dish, as the flavor significantly improves with age. At the very minimum, chill the coleslaw for 24 hours before serving. It will last several weeks in the refrigerator.
Image via Elana’s Pantry on Flickr under a Creative Commons License