Heaven on Earth

Heaven on Earth

Monday, March 11, 2013

Colorful Coleslaw

Spring is starting to creep in here.  Just a day ago it was sunny, not warm mind you,but sunny.  My dinner ideas start to turn to fresh and light after the heavy comfort foods of winter.

I have to insert a disclaimer about now.  I AM NOT A FAN OF COLESLAW...except this recipe.  I really hate the mayonnaise based ones and let's not even talk about how dangerous mayonnaise based salads are if left out of the fridge on a hot summer day.
If my plate arrives in a restaurant with coleslaw on it it promptly get passed to my husband.  
But years ago (I won't say how many), when I was a young newlywed, we helped host a party for a large church group.  I was assigned coleslaw and happened upon a version of this recipe in the newspaper.
The original recipe called for green cabbage; I like red.  I added some carrot and a few spices.  It also called for plain old white vinegar.  I never make this with white vinegar.  In fact, it's a great venue to experiment with gourmet vinegars or your own homemade ones.

If you use green cabbage, add with some chopped green onions for color and maybe a fruity vinegar.  You're only limited by your imagination and cabbage is inexpensive.  Start your experimenting with a half-batch.  Of course, the recipe I've provided below is absolutely scrumptious the way it's written.

This salad needs to marinate in it's dressing for at least 12 hours; 24 is best.  It will retain it's crunch for several days so the leftovers are great.  I'm going to experiment with heating it up and see how I feel about that.

Best of all, it's good for you;  cabbage is packed with nutrients.  Most of the sugar is in the brine and drains off before serving.  
On a plate as a side salad or piled high on a pork sandwich, this slaw can't be beat.

1 medium head of red or green cabbage (firm, not Chinese), julienned 
¼ cup of yellow onion, minced
1 large carrot, peeled and grated
Chopped scallions for garnish (optional)

1 ½ teaspoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of dried celery seed
½ teaspoon of dried ground yellow mustard
¾ cup of granulated sugar
1 cup of vinegar (red wine, cider, balsamic, or white wine)
½ cup of canola oil (or any mild tasting oil)

Put the dressing ingredients, except for the oil, into a small saucepan and bring them to a rolling boil.  Stir to melt the sugar and mix in the spices.  After the sugar is dissolved take the mixture off the heat and slowly whisk the oil into the dressing. Set the dressing aside to cool slightly while you assemble the salad.

After the dressing is made, layer the cabbage, carrot, and onion into a large bowl.
Drizzle the warm dressing over the vegetables, tossing so that all of the vegetables are lightly covered.
Cover and refrigerate for at least 24 hours. Stir occasionally to redistribute the dressing.

This salad serves 8 to 10 people generously.


  1. Dear Bonnie, I also Hate cole slaw. So maybe I'll give yours a try, since it won you over. :) Also at first glance on my blog, your brightly colored food photo looked like yarns and pulled me right in. If you could find those same colors in sock yarn you could name the resulting socks Cole Slaw :). Happy Monday!

  2. Heating it up??? Hmmm, that would be interesting. This recipe looks yummy! I'm not a fan of your average restaurant coleslaws. I do love a good homemade version though. And, I'm embarrassed to say, I do love the Colonel's KFC version LOL!

  3. I love making red cabbage slaw as it adds so much color to the plate....yours is especially colorful. I'm going to let mine marinate longer next time, thanks for the suggestion.

  4. I too like this version of cole slaw. I always make it for summer get togethers. But I've never tried it with red cabbage. Great idea Bonnie.

  5. My husband loves coleslaw(the non-mayo version), so I will have to try this colorful version.