Sesame rainbow slaw

Summer’s returned to the Netherlands in full force. As I write this I’ve got a fan going on full blast, all of the curtains drawn, and all lights off, with the hope of preventing the thermostat from climbing above the 28.2 (!!!!) that it’s currently reading. (The Netherlands has such a temperate climate most of the time that it’s pretty uncommon for people to have AC.) I’m also nursing a pretty bad sunburn on my stomach – the result of a rather naïve belief that I could ‘even out’ my farmer’s tan during a whole day out at the beach in the full sun yesterday…

Porgy’s sprawled under the piano in the office/second bedroom, presumably trying to get as much of her surface area on the cool laminate as possible 😛 We’ve taken to putting damp towels on the ground here and there, should she need to cool herself off, along with bowls of water – quite the home decor we have going on!!

What with this heat wave, I haven’t been craving anything hot (which is actually somewhat unusual for me). Instead, it’s been salad, salad, salad. Including this beauty: sesame rainbow slaw.

Sesame rainbow slaw: beetroot, carrot, cabbage & bean sprouts tossed with a lime & sesame dressing and topped with sesame seeds. An easy, colourful side perfect for summer!

Shredded cabbage, raw grated beetroot & carrot, bean sprouts, and a limey, sesame-y dressing. Crunchy, fresh, and zesty, and perfect for summer.

Sesame rainbow slaw: beetroot, carrot, cabbage & bean sprouts tossed with a lime & sesame dressing and topped with sesame seeds. An easy, colourful side perfect for summer!

You know what I realized the other day? That we’re already half-way through summer. And every year I look forward to summer and have these ideas of how I’ll spend it – most of which involve frolicking in lovely outdoor settings – and then every year it sort of passes me by before I’ve really realized it. One of those ‘life happens while you’re busy making plans’ sort of things.

So when my friend Dawn suggested we head out to the beach yesterday, instead of fretting about getting ahead on my work or what have you, I gleefully agreed, and it was a blissful day. We lounged about, braved the chilly sea, squealed like kids when we spotted a jellyfish, queued for the ice cream truck, dribbled watermelon down our chins, burnt our feet in the scorching hot sand, and were thoroughly filthy by the time we piled back into the train, covered as we were with layer upon layer of sunscreen and sand and salt (and watermelon).

Just the sort of thing I always imagine getting up to in the summer, but that I so rarely do. Now I just have to keep that momentum going!


Sesame rainbow slaw

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 2 big portions**, or 4 sides

Sesame rainbow slaw


about two handfuls each of:
- raw grated beetroot (about 2 medium beets),
- raw grated carrot (2-3 medium carrots), &
- finely shredded white cabbage
big handful of bean sprouts
liberal sprinkle of sesame seeds
For the dressing
juice of 1 lime (about 2 tbsp)
2 tbsp soya sauce
1/2 tbsp sesame oil


1. In a small bowl, whisk together all ingredients for the dressing.
2. Pop all of the veggies into a salad bowl, then add in the dressing. Toss to combine.
3. Top with sesame seeds. Serve immediately and enjoy!*


*Unlike regular coleslaw, I don't find that this keeps particularly well once dressed. If you want to prepare this ahead of time, I suggest holding off with the dressing until you're ready to serve.
**To make this more substantial, you can throw in peanuts or cashews, and whatever protein your heart desires (I'm partial to crunchy sesame tofu).