During the summer, it's easy eating greens. Enjoying the bounty of the garden, we can create a rich variety of flavors in leafy salads, using different types of lettuce, peppery arugula and cresses, perhaps the gently assertive flavor of mche, a delicate French green also known as lamb's lettuce.

In addition to mixing various greens, we can garland salads with chives, mint and other fresh herbs. We consume bushels of vegetables as crudits eaten with dips, including zucchini, broccoli spears, bell peppers and celery sticks. Then there is slaw, for which we shred mountains of green cabbage.

Eating very dark greens also gets easier in summer thanks to young collards and chard, and snappy new mustard greens. They shine when lightly steamed and served up with accents of lemon or garlic and a drizzle of olive oil to smooth out the sharpness.

But what about orange and red vegetables on our summer plates? In addition to the ever-available carrot, there are orange and golden bell peppers. As for the reds, tomatoes, red bell peppers and beets are obvious, but don't forget wine-red radicchio. Its color and bitter flavor add a perfect contrast to summer salads. Try it grilled, too.

Perhaps the most neglected red vegetable in summer is red cabbage. More popular cooked to accompany winter dishes, it makes brilliant coleslaw, and not simply because of its color. Firmer than green cabbage, it makes crunchier slaw that, even after being dressed, remains crisper longer. See for yourself with this red cabbage slaw, accented with the orange and green confetti of grated carrots and cilantro, plus a tangy citrus dressing.

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Red Cabbage, Carrot and Jicama Slaw

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Makes 16 servings.

  • 1 small red cabbage, about 2 lbs.
  • 2 large carrots, finely shredded
  • 1 cup finely shredded jicama
  • 1-1/2 tsp. canola oil
  • 3/4 tsp. salt, or to taste
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
  • 2 tsp. rice vinegar
  • 3 scallions, green part only, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup chopped cilantro leaves
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  1. Cut cabbage in half, then in thirds crosswise. Shred each third into a large mixing bowl. Mix in carrots and jicama. Mix in oil and salt to coat vegetables evenly.
  2. Whisk together orange juice, lime juice, and vinegar. Mix into vegetables. Mix in scallions and cilantro. Season to taste with pepper.
  3. Cover and refrigerate slaw for 4 to 24 hours before serving, so the cabbage wilts and the flavors meld. Slaw keeps up to 3 days, tightly covered in refrigerator.

Nutrtional Information Per Serving:
28 calories,
less than 1 g. total fat (0 g. saturated fat),
6 g. carbohydrate,
less than 1 g. protein,
2 g. dietary fiber,
125 mg. sodium

Diabetic Exchanges: 1 Vegetable


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