Winter Root Vegetable Slaw


Who says you can only make slaw with cabbage? Check out this winter slaw from Hank made with root vegetables. ~Elise

Winter is root vegetable time, and while I love roasted roots more than most people, sometimes you just want to lighten things up a bit. So I decided to riff off standard cole slaw, only using nothing but shredded root vegetables, dressed with a parsley vinaigrette. The combination works great, and this recipe has definitely earned a place in my lineup.

The trick to this salad is to use a coarse grater or a vegetable peeler to make it. I like using the peeler because you can get prettier shavings and you can deal with long, skinny roots like parsnips or carrots better with the peeler. Fatter roots, like celery root, are better shredded with a grater. Either works.

As for the vinaigrette, parsley goes well with all of these roots, but you can use other herbs, too. Mint is a good choice, as would rosemary or sage. You might even try cilantro for a Latin or Portuguese touch.

Winter Root Vegetable Slaw Recipe

  • Prep time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4-6 as a side dish

The choice of root vegetables here works well, but you are free to mix and match. Just be sure to not have too many sweet vegetables like carrots and parsnips, or too many sharp ones, like radishes or turnips.


  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 cup sherry or red wine vinegar
  • 1 cup chopped parsley, loosely packed
  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 large carrots (choose different colored carrots if you can find them)
  • 2 medium parsnips
  • 1 small celery root
  • 2 black radishes or 1/2 daikon radish


1 Put the mustard, salt, sugar, vinegar and parsley in a blender and process until combined, about 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the blender, cover and process at its slowest setting. Drizzle in the olive oil slowly. When it is all in, move the blender to its highest setting and puree for about 90 seconds.

2 Peel all the vegetables except for the radishes, if you are using black ones. The slivers of black in the salad look cool, so I leave them in. Using a vegetable peeler or a coarse grater, slice shreds off the vegetables into a bowl. Try to keep the shreds roughly the same length if you can.

3 To finish, toss some of the vinaigrette with the shredded vegetables and let stand in the fridge for at least 20 minutes before serving.

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A Different Version of Winter Cole Slaw - from Mostly Eating
Marinated Root Vegetable Salad - from Stephen Cooks
Maple and Sage Root Vegetable Salad - from Erin's Kitchen

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Showing 4 of 11 Comments

  • Mark

    I have never gotten around to making my own cole slaw sauce but here’s a real simple one to make. The only major drawback is store bought dressing have a lot of sugar in them.

    It’s two or optionally three ingredients.

    First buy a bag of pre-fab cole slaw (cabbage and carrots) from the supermarket.
    Dump it into a large bowl and cover the slaw with cold water. Let it soak for a few hours or overnight. That will give the cabbage more crunch.

    Drain off the water and add 1 jar of Marie’s or Marzetti’s cole slaw dressing…or make your own if you have a good recipe.

    Optionally add a couple heaping spoonfuls or horseradish. I like Gold’s extra hot.

    Stir so everything gets distributed evenly.

    For a kids cole slaw (sweeter) leave out the horseradish.

    That’s it! Three ingredients and a couple minutes to make.

    This mess is also great on a sloppy joe sandwich. Oh man! Three slices NY Jewish deli rye bread, turkey, roast beef, ham, bacon, lettuce, tomato, swiss and/or provolone cheese…and cole slaw and Russian dressing. What’s not to like? You will need to unhinge your jaw to make it easier to fit into your mouth. If you’re diabetic, one of these will send your blood sugar higher than the Burj Khalifa.

    After a few days the cabbage will start getting mushy but it’s still good to eat.

  • Rosemary

    I’m always looking for new veggie sides. It seems there’s always plenty of sweet stuff around but (except at Christmas) I’m pretty savory! Thanks for the inspiration, Hank.

  • Alka

    Looks so ravishing !Neat idea to have healthy stuff !

  • Tatiana

    I usually make the slaw with beets instead of parsnips (don’t like them much), but tried your idea of adding black radishes and it came out really tasty. In pretty pink :)

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