Not all my young life’s slaw endeavours have been as pure and fresh and exciting as this Detoxing Apple Fennel Slaw. Quite the opposite, actually.
I was about 5 years old when I first ate a slaw, and it was a mayo-drenched one filled with pineapple tidbits. From a can. Yes, it was every bit the culinary highlight you’re imagining now.
Speaking of mayo-drenched salads, remember that How I Met Your Mother episode where Lily and Marshall spend Thanksgiving with his family and Lily helps them prep the food?
She has to make the special Eriksen seven layer salad and is shocked that there’s 6 cups of mayo in the recipe.
HAHA, joke’s on her, it’s really sixTEEN cups.
That’s pretty much how I feel about mayonnaise touching any kind of salad. Or jello, but that’s a whole other story (seriously though, strawberry jello and pretzels do not a salad make).
Either way, I tasted that mysterious canned slaw as a kid and declared slaw to be the worst thing ever invented.
But then… I started making my own.
And spoiler alert: You are not obliged to add mayo to your own slaw. You’re also not obliged to add mushy pineapple chunks.
In fact, you can make it incredibly delicious:
With crunchy shaved fennel. Two colours of cabbage. A little bit of apple because hashtag seasonal and then some cilantro (or parsley if – gasp! – you hate cilantro) and pomegranate for little pops of tart freshness to round it all out.
I also added some shredded carrots for more color and variety and sprinkled on some chopped walnuts for crunch in the end.
Everything about this apple fennel slaw is fresh, alkalising and absolutely delicious. Definitely zero heaviness going on.
But wait until you hear what I put in the dressing… Olive oil. Lemon juice. A touch of vinegar. Season with a little salt, a touch of maple syrup and a generous spoonful of Dijon mustard.
That, my friends, is how you slaw.
It is pretty much a winter version of my all-time favourite summer salad. It is just as good, if not better, and I’m a walking testimony to that fact: I’ve made it every single day for the last week and I’m still not sick of it.
My mama-in-law already asked for the recipe but I hope she doesn’t get sick of it until their visit ends. Because I still have plenty of cabbage in my fridge and I just got more from our CSA share yesterday ?
So, internet-family… Brace yourselves just as much as my IRL-family. Cabbage is coming at you, and it’s coming in delicious ways.
Let’s start with the recipe for this glow-inducing apple fennel slaw:
For the dressing:
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1 lemon, juice only
- 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar, OR apple cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoons smooth Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
- salt + black pepper, to taste
For the salad:
- 1 medium fennel bulb, thinly sliced
- 1/2 medium head red cabbage, thinly sliced
- 1/2 medium head white cabbage, thinly sliced
- 2 medium carrots, shredded
- 2 medium apples, thinly sliced
- 1 bunch cilantro OR flat-leaf parsley, leaves only
- 1 pomegranate, arils only
- 1 handful roughly chopped walnuts
Make the dressing:
- Add all dressing ingredients to a large bowl and whisk until smooth and slightly thickened. If you're prepping the salad ahead of time, shake up the dressing in a separate jar with a screw-on lid and store it in the fridge.
Make the salad:
- Add the fennel, both cabbages and the carrots to the bowl with the dressing. Toss well. Add the apples and carefully mix into the salad.
- Serve with cilantro, pomegranate and chopped walnuts for everyone to use as toppings - I like it best when they're added fresh to each portion instead of mixed in with the rest of the ingredients!
P.S: I had my Insta-Peeps vote on the photos for this recipe! If you want to have a say in how things work here on Savory Nothings you need to hop on over and follow me on Instagram so you can put in your vote, too!