Summer slaw

Summer slaw

River Cottage Every Day
Simon Wheeler

I make crunchy slaws of grated roots and shredded cabbage throughout the year, using whatever vegetables are in season. You need to take your time slicing and grating everything finely, but once you’ve got a big bowlful in the fridge, you need only transfer a portion to a lunchbox (or plate), add a little cold meat, cooked egg, cheese or other protein-rich finishing touch, and you have a filling, wholesome lunch.

To make a complete meal of these slaws, accompany them with one of the following:

• A couple of oatcakes and some shredded cold chicken, ham, pork or lamb.

• A slice of pork pie.

• A chunk of blue cheese, crumbled over the top, plus some lightly toasted walnuts.

• A wedge of cold frittata.

• A wholemeal roll filled with soft, mild goat’s cheese sprinkled with salt and pepper.


Quantity Ingredient
8 fat radishes, trimmed
a few small summer carrots, scrubbed
1 large fennel bulbs
2 small fennel bulbs
1/2 small red onion
1 tablespoon finely snipped chives
4 small lettuce hearts, such as Little Gem (optional)

For the vinaigrette:

Quantity Ingredient
1 teaspoon english mustard
1 tablespoons cider vinegar or white wine vinegar
3 tablespoons rapeseed or olive oil
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
A pinch sugar


  1. Very finely slice the radishes and carrots, using a mandolin if you have one, and place in a large bowl. Trim the base and tops off the fennel bulbs and remove the tough outer layers. Quarter the bulbs, remove the cores, then slice very finely and add to the radishes. Chop the red onion very finely and add to the bowl, along with the chives if you’re using them.
  2. Make the dressing by whisking everything together, then adjust the seasoning to taste. Toss the vegetables with the dressing. Taste the slaw and adjust the seasoning, if necessary.
  3. If you’re serving this at home, make sure you let it sit for at least half an hour before eating. Cut the lettuce hearts into quarters, if using, and arrange them around the edge of a large bowl. Spoon the slaw into the middle and serve – try it with crumbled blue cheese on top or some cold meats on the side. For a lunchbox, pile the slaw into a suitable container with the lettuce and other savoury items.


  • For a creamier slaw, dress with mayonnaise rather than vinaigrette.
River Cottage
Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall
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