This crunchy and colorful carrot slaw is made with rainbow carrots, apple, and fennel and it’s a perfect light and healthy summer side dish.
You know that saying, “you eat with your eyes?” That’s why this summer slaw tastes SO good. Sure, it’s full of amazing flavors, but it’s also just a beautiful treat for your eyes.
I enjoyed a delicious dinner at a Spanish restaurant last weekend. One of the best things I ate was a side dish of roasted heirloom carrots. They were prepared with saffron, vanilla, fennel and hazelnuts and served in a ginger-tarragon labne sauce.
Never in my wildest imagination would I have come up with that flavor combo. But they were seriously the most amazing vegetable dish I’ve ever tasted. A perfect blend of flavors that popped with every mouthful.
I’ve been wanting to make something with the package of rainbow carrots I bought at Sprouts the other day. Soooo… Those flavors are the inspiration for this bright, colorful rainbow carrot slaw.
Do you ever see rainbow carrots at the store? If you do, pick up a package and experiment with them. They taste pretty much like regular carrots – but their colors are just gorgeous. They’ll make you smile!
Prettiness aside – as a nutritionist I would be remiss if I didn’t remind you that all of those colors equal antioxidants. Lots and lots of cell-protecting, disease-fighting, immune-boosting phytochemicals in every bite.
I love the sweet-savory mix of flavors going on here. This carrot slaw is actually really good without any dressing. The apples and cranberries add such a nice sweetness, while the fennel adds the fresh, anise flavor. But that tarragon, ginger, and pinch of saffron in the creamy yogurt dressing really seals the deal.
I happen to love fennel, but I do know that many people don’t. If that’s you – I won’t be offended if you leave it out. Just don’t skip the apple! Apples and carrots make perfect slaw companions.
This is such a perfect light and refreshing summer side dish. Serve it with grilled chicken, salmon, burgers, or use it as a topping on pulled pork.
Any type of slaw is easiest to make if you have a food processor. I couldn’t live without my Cuisinart food processor. But, if you don’t have one, a great substitute is a mandoline – it comes with both a slicing or a shredding blade (just watch your fingers!) or a julienne peeler.
Crunchy Rainbow Carrot Slaw
- 1 pound rainbow or orange carrots peeled and ends removed
- 1 medium sweet or tart apple peeled and quartered
- 1 small fennel bulb stems and outer layer trimmed off
- 3 scallions
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup salted pumpkin seeds
- 1/4 cup chopped, toasted hazelnuts
- 1/4 cup full-fat Greek yogurt
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon
- 1/2 teaspoon minced ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt or to taste
- Cut the carrots in half, so they fit into the mouth of a food processor fitted with the grating blade. Pulse the food processor until they are grated. If you don't have a food processor, you can grate the carrots with a julienne peeler or a mandolin.
- Repeat with the apple and fennel bulb.
- Toss all of the grated vegetables in a large mixing bowl.
- Slice the scallions lengthwise into thin strip, with a sharp knife. Next, slice the strips into 1-inch pieces. Add the scallions to the bowl and toss everything.
- Sprinkle the cranberries, pumpkin seeds and hazelnuts over everything and toss. Set the slaw aside while you make the dressing.
- Combine all of the ingredients together in a jar or measuring cup and shake or stir well to combine. Taste and extra salt as desired, or adjust any seasons.
- Pour the dressing over the slaw, and toss to combine. Let the slaw sit for 20-30 minutes so the flavors can combine.
Have you ever eaten rainbow carrots?