This original recipe called for a shredded apple which sounded messy to me so I opted to make little julienne strips instead. My approach was to cut the apple in half, use a melon ball tool to remove the core, slice each half into rounds and then slice each round into sticks.
Since I was going to all the trouble of slicing and dicing the vegetables for this salad I doubled it and to keep the apple from turning brown I gave it all a good squeeze of fresh lemon juice and tossed it well. The original recipe didn’t call for fresh fennel but the second time I made it I didn’t have enough bok choy, so to round it out I added a trimmed and sliced bulb of fresh fennel and we loved the salad even more with the fennel. Fennel has a slightly sweet, licorice flavor and is super crunchy – making it the perfect addition to slaw. Yesterday since I din’t have any bok choy I made the salad with a bag of broccoli slaw, fennel, carrots, apple and left out the red onion. It was so crunchy and yummy! Its one of those recipes that can be played with, no hard set rules use what you have in your fridge.
I love, love, love this salad dressing! It is a simple combination of white beans, dates, Dijon mustard, unsweetened almond milk and balsamic vinegar. If you use white balsamic vinegar which is available at Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods it will keep the dressing light in color and looking beautiful. You can use regular balsamic vinegar but your slaw will look dark and dingy – which isn’t very appetizing – so if you go that route you might have to eat the salad with your eyes closed – just sayin! If you mix all of the dressing ingredients together and let it sit for about 30 minutes it blends much smoother and becomes all creamy. The recipe makes enough dressing for about double the slaw ingredients listed, depending on how much dressing you like – we tend to go with less. It is a sweet and tangy dressing – I use a rounded teaspoon of Dijon in it for a little more tangy flavor.
I have made this with the red onion and without and it’s good both ways. Feel free to use cabbage instead of bok choy, pre-shredded carrots that are available in the produce department, broccoli slaw or cole slaw mix if you really don’t want to do any chopping. You can always just chop the apple instead of making it into match sticks too. This is a perfect side dish to a spicy hot chili like the Chipotle Chili with Sweet Potatoes & Brussels Sprouts or as we enjoyed it last night along side my favorite P. S. Chorizo Patties.
Bok Choy Fennel Salad
- 4 cups finely chopped bok choy or cabbage or broccoli slaw
- 1 large carrot shredded or use 1 cup shredded carrots from the store
- 1 fennel bulb, trimmed and finely sliced into sticks
- 1/2 cup red onions thinly sliced – optional – or sub red cabbage thinly sliced
- 1 apple, cored, cut into match sticks or diced
- 1- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 cup white beans, or 1/2 c raw cashews or 1/4 cup cashew butter
- 1/4 cup White balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup dates – pitted or raisins or dried currants
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard or salt free mustard – use a rounded teaspoon full if you like a little more tangy flavor
- 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk, soy milk or hemp milk
Mix all of the ingredients for the dressing together in a small bowl and let it sit for 3o mintues to one hour before processing in a blender until smooth and creamy. Refrigerate. If you don’t have a high powered blender the cashew butter will create a creamier texture in a regular blender.
Prepare all of the salad ingredients and toss with the lemon juice. If you want the salad to last longer only put dressing on the amount you intend to eat right away. We found that there is enough dressing for double the amount of slaw ingredients listed which is perfect because you will want to make it again soon. The lemon juice keeps the apple and slaw ingredients from turning brown and it will still be good to use the next day. If you dress all of the salad by the second day it becomes a bit soggy – not so much fun to eat that way.
Recipe adapted from the Eat To Live Cookbook