Despite its German origins, coleslaw has somehow become classic Australian fare, and is now as much a part of the traditional Aussie barbie spread as snags, tomato sauce and tinned beetroot. To make matters worse, the coleslaw that is served up is most often smothered in a rich sugary mayonnaise that all but drowns out the flavour of veggies within and eclipses any health benefits they might offer.
Luckily though, Australia is moving on and is starting to live up to the foodie reputation we’ve been gaining around the world lately. The weekend back-yard barbecue is becoming more sophisticated, as we become inspired by celebrity chefs, dine at the plethora of fabulous restaurants popping up everywhere and experiment with the amazing produce that our farmers are bringing to our local farmers’ markets for us to buy.
With just a tiny bit of reworking, coleslaw becomes a gorgeous, mouthwatering salad in its own right that you’d be proud to share with friends and family; colourful, antioxidant rich and delicious.
This recipe is fairly close rendition of Fiona Inglis’s New Wave Coleslaw, which features in her book The Garden Cook. Fiona went from being a Masterchef contestant to teaching kitchen garden cooking to kids at an Adelaide Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Program school (just like me…minus the Masterchef bit!). I think this recipe reflects her delicate approach to combining flavours, textures and colours, as well as her crowd-pleasing abilities. Crunchy and fresh, with a little burst of sweetness here and there from the currants, you’ll find that kids and adults alike will be coming back for seconds.
A Fresh Take On Coleslaw
- ½ small red cabbage
- 2-3 carrots, peeled and grated
- 1 red capsicum, white membrane removed and finely sliced
- 1 small red onion, finely sliced
- 1/3 cup currants
- ¼ cup roughly chopped parsley
- ¼ cup roughly chopped mint
- 1 cup greek-style yoghurt
- juice of a lemon
- 2 tsp red wine vinegar
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Remove the outer leaves from the cabbage and wash well. Remove the core and finely shred. Add to a large bowl along with the carrot, capsicum, onion, currants, parsley and mint.
To make the dressing, whisk together the yoghurt, lemon juice and vinegar, along with a good pinch of salt and some pepper, until silky smooth.
Pour the dressing over the salad and then mix the whole lot together until evenly combined. Serve at once, or pop in the fridge until needed. This is one salad that works well to make ahead as the flavours develop beautiful upon standing.