Beet, Jicama, and Carrot Slaw with Sambal and Honey Dressing

Recipe and photo by Tami Ganeles Weiser Yield:  2 quarts
Prep Time:  35 minutes Chilling Time::  2 hours Cook Time:  0 minutes

Beet, Jicama, and Carrot Slaw with Sambal and Honey Dressing

This sweet and spicy salad is a colorful and refreshing addition to a grilled meal. It’s great with Asian-inspired meals like miso-glazed salmon, tamarind chicken, or marinated tofu, and it’s equally delicious with a simple grilled steak.

Ingredients

1 pound (about 8) carrots, multicolored preferred, peeled and trimmed

1 large (about ¾ pound) jicama, peeled and trimmed

1½ pounds Chioggia, golden, and red beets, peeled and trimmed

⅔ cup mild olive oil

3-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated

Juice and zest of 1 lime, plus 1 lime for garnish

¼ cup mild honey

1 large bunch Thai basil, cut in chiffonade (see Kitchen Tips)

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 teaspoons sambal chili paste or gochujang paste, or more to taste

Instructions

  1. Using a box grater set over a large mixing bowl (use the widest shredding side) or a food processor fitted with a shredding blade, shred the carrots and jicama. If you are using the processor, transfer the carrots and jicama into a large mixing bowl. 
  2. Using the food processor julienne blade or a sharp knife, julienne the beets (see Kitchen Tips) and add to the other vegetables.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the oil, grated ginger, lime juice and zest, honey, about two-thirds of the basil, the salt, pepper and chili paste and whisk to combine. Taste and add more salt and/or chili paste as desired.
  4. Add the lime–honey mixture to the vegetable mixture and mix very well to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving. Just before you are ready to serve, cut the remaining lime into wedges. Garnish the slaw with the reserved basil and lime wedges and serve. The slaw will keep in the refrigerator for up to two days and maintain its crunch.

Kitchen Tips

  1. Chiffonade is a French term that simply means that leafy greens or herbs are cut into thin strips. To make a chiffonade of basil, stack the leaves on top of one another on a work surface. Roll tightly from stem to tip, and then cut the roll crosswise in ⅛-inch slices with a sharp knife. Unroll and you will have lovely, thin slivers.
  2. Beets are nutritious and delicious, but boy, can they make a mess. Red beets stain the most by far, but they all can do a number on your hands. (If are a fan of TV’s The Office, think about Dwight’s trip to the mall’s fanciest shops after his beet harvest—when they thought he was a murderer.) To avoid staining extensively when you trim and cut beets by hand, wear plastic gloves. If you don’t, and you stain your hands, lemon juice or any acid-like solution, like white vinegar, can get the color off, but be sure to wash your hands well afterward. Some good dishwashing soap usually does the trick all by itself if you are persistent and use very hot water, but the color is still likely to remain around your nail beds, which vinegar tends to remove.
  3. Cutting round, hard vegetables can be challenging, since they roll around. Fear not. To steady them while you are slicing, you have two options: if they are very round, cut them in half,  place the flat cut half on the work surface and slice away; or cut a slice off the bottom to make a flat surface when you take off the stem end, so it can sit on the cutting board, and then slice, cut in half, quarters, or in thin layers and stack to julienne.   

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