Irish Cole Slaw

This is a dish my cousin Diane shared with me when I was on a mad search for a summery vegetable side for my Lughnasa feast.

Diane lived in County Mayo a few years back and worked with the locals protesting a pipeline being constructed by Shell Oil.  The name of the group was Shell to Sea.  She said this “slaw” of sorts is something they used to make at the Solidarity Camp out of the available fresh vegetables.  The leftovers they would frequently make into a sandwich with “crisps” or what we would call potato chips, for a little added crunch.

While I have not tried the slaw in this form I did do a side by side comparison using two different types of vinegar.  Since Diane didn’t specify what kind they used at the camp, I assume it was whatever they had on hand, I decided to do a little taste test of my own trying one with apple cider and another with white wine.  I had my dinner guests be the judges and the overwhelming choice was in favor of the white wine vinegar version.  Feel free to try both slaws for yourself and decide.

  • 1 red beet, peeled and grated
  • 1 small head of green cabbage, grated
  • 4 or 5 carrots, peeled and grated
  • 1 turnip, peeled and grated
  • Olive Oil
  • White Wine Vinegar
  • Salt and Pepper

Combine the grated vegetable in a bowl.  Add enough olive oil and white wine vinegar to get to a good slaw consistency, enough to hold it together and soften the cabbage and stir.  Season with salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Cook’s Note: The vegetable can be grated using the grater attachment on a food processor to cut prep time down considerably.

This recipe is provided by Historic Hostess as part of their Lughnasa Feast—an Irish harvest dinner. Other recipes in this post include Colcannon and a beautiful Sunday cake. The website, Historic Hostess, explores the history of celebrations from every era, all over the world. Delving into the hows and whys of holiday traditions, as well as discovering some that are long forgotten or rarely celebrated. Recipes, complete with beautiful photos are included.

Photo Credit: Sarah Amdor