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Some people might think of coleslaw as strictly summer food, but sometimes we actually like it more in the winter. That’s because the food we eat this time of year tends to be so rich. Long-cooked stews and low-and-slow braises have a deep, comforting flavor, but they can be kind of heavy. Pairing pot roast with coleslaw might sound strange, but trust us when we say it helps balance the meal, in the same way a salad or a side of kimchi or sauerkraut would. So when we saw that Padma Lakshmi had shared her recipe for a spicy, crunchy chipotle coleslaw, we knew it was the perfect accompaniment to our favorite winter dishes.
Lakshmi is, of course, a food star. She’s the host of her own show, Taste the Nation, and she’s also the host of Bravo’s Top Chef, as well as being the author of a cookbook, Tangy Tart Hot and Sweet: A World of Recipes for Every Day. Safe to say, she knows a thing or two about eating well. Lakshmi often shares recipes on social media, like her famous yogurt rice, and this coleslaw has the makings of another hit.
The base of the coleslaw is a blend of shredded carrots and shredded red cabbage. Lakshmi also adds one granny smith apple cut into matchsticks that have been spritzed with lime juice, which adds a nice sweet-tart flavor that helps balance the spiciness of the dish.
The coleslaw dressing is a combination of mayonnaise and whole milk yogurt, which is rich and tangy, but also lighter than a straight-up mayo dressing.
The spicy kick comes from chipotles in adobo, smoked jalapeños in a spicy sauce. Make sure to finely chop the chipotles until they’re almost a paste, so they and the adobo will blend into the coleslaw seamlessly. Add the chipotles in adobo, then sprinkle on some salt and pepper.
Last but not least, Lakshmi garnishes the coleslaw with some torn fresh mint leaves, which adds a lovely fragrant, herbacious note to the slaw. You can also add a splash of lime juice if you want it to be a little tangier.
Lakshmi recommends serving her spicy chipotle slaw with tacos, fried chicken, or grilled steak, and we think it would also be divine served alongside chili, roast pork loin, or even a spiced beef pot roast, too.
It might not be summer, but when it’s cold out we need these bright, fresh flavors more than ever.
Before you go, check out our slideshow below:
Watch: How to Make Giada De Laurentiis’ Stuffed Lasagna Rolls
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