Tom Kerridge's healthy version of coleslaw: no mayo, lovely seasoning, yoghurt dressing and a variety of lightly fermented vegetables. No more roughly shredded cabbage slathered in gloopy mayo!
Where does the name come from?
Coleslaw is a cabbage salad with its name derived from Dutch: ‘kool’ – cabbage and ‘sla’ – salad. It goes back to 18th century and the dressing was originally melted butter, vinegar and spices. It sounds like a nice salad - which has sadly deteriorated to - usually - mayonnaise drowned soggy strips of cabbage.
Not very nutritious!
Slaw is these days your feeble attempt at one (or a quarter) of the five-a-day when going for fish and chips. It's a tub that we grab from the supermarket shelf in a desperate attempt to balance the packets of crisps already in the basket. In that shape it's actually possibly detrimental to our health!
If you compare it to good old fashioned German or Polish Krautsalad, a salad made from fermented cabbage dressed only with oil, if at all, nutritional inferiority of slaw is blatantly obvious. Fermented vegetables are wonderful for our gut and lots of mayo isn't - it's simple as that.
Can coleslaw be healthy?
But not all is lost - first off, if you make your coleslaw at home, you're already halfway to a winner. No added sugar, excessive salt and those weird chemicals that let the slaw sit on the supermarket shelf for days.
No mayo, that’s a start. And if mayo you must, give it just a lick of it. Fermentation is crucial - as above, fermented foods rule the nutrition world so take time, all of 10 minutes of it, and leave your cabbage salted until it wilts a bit and becomes, frankly, much more appetising - especially if you’re using a hammer head cabbage*.
What's a healthy dressing for slaw?
Vinaigrette dressing would suffice on the shredded veg but as a concession to the chippie-goers I am adding some white stuff. And yoghurt actually tastes and goes better with it than mayo.
The recipe, with slight modi- and simplifications is that of Tom Kerridge, from his ‘Best Ever Recipes’ book.
*standard winter white cabbage, as apparently known in Yorkshire. No, me neither. Blame the Weather Man, he’s from up there.