So I know what you are thinking, “Oh no! Not another coleslaw recipe!!!” Believe me I get it, there are many, many coleslaw recipes out there in the universe. Well guess what? I think we need one more… one that has crisp cabbage; tastes a little salty sweet with just the right acidic kick and a touch of creamy mayo. I grew up on homemade salads, the usual suspects: potato, macaroni and of course coleslaw. Every relative in my family had their own recipe and they took pride in them… offering to bring them whenever the was a BBQ or family get together at my parent’s house. But, when you get older and are a mom you sometimes take shortcuts taking any help you can get from premade sides at the store or if you are lucky enough a family member will bring them to your home from a favorite market or deli. After all we are all busy and have hectic lives. When I moved from my beloved New Jersey THE land of deli heaven to Virginia, I realized that side salads are very different here and the ingredients used are as well. So I was faced with a decision, “Do I compromise my likes and buy the premade or make my own?”
You guessed it, I set out to make my own and began testing different recipes… trying to make the coleslaw I remembered as a child. Here is what I found, even though coleslaw is a simple salad you really need to think through what your tastes are before constructing it and developing your recipe. I do not like a very sweet salad, I need it to have balance. You know some sweet, a little salty, some acidity and just a touch of creamy. There is nothing I hate more than coleslaw that is drowning in mayo or dressing. I love that crunch of cabbage and when done right a good coleslaw while maintain it’s crunch even when dressed.
So what is the secret to maintaining cabbage crunch even when your coleslaw is dressed? Drying your cabbage with a paper towel or salad spinner! That’s right, if you’ve ever purchased a coleslaw salad at you local store only to discover a liquid mess at the bottom of the container with limp cabbage that has no crunch, then you know what happens when the cabbage is not drained and dried (of course there will always be a little liquid in the bottom because cabbage naturally has water in it that will be pulled out with the salt and vinegar… our goal here is to not have added water from the washing process). So when making this recipe be sure to drain and dry your cabbage with a paper towel or pick up a salad spinner… this nifty little contraption is not only fun to use (and gives the kids a thrill in the kitchen) but will make quick work of drying your cabbage. The recipe below represents the fruits of my labor to develop a coleslaw recipe that my family would be proud of. So if you are looking for an easy side to make for your family, or a last minute side dish to bring to the neighbor’s BBQ then look no further than this coleslaw recipe, this is it folks… the real deal. I hope you enjoy the simplicity and taste of this wonderful coleslaw as much as my family does.
- 4 cups green cabbage finely sliced
- 2 cups red cabbage finely sliced
- ¾ cup matchstick carrots
- ¼ cup mayo
- ¼ cup white vinegar
- 1 teaspoon white sugar
- 1 ¼ teaspoon Kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Remove the outer leaves from both heads of cabbage, then quarter them and remove the cores. Finely slice green cabbage and red cabbage; wash and drain in colander. Pat cabbage with paper towel or use salad spinner to dry cabbage thoroughly. Add cabbage to large bowl; add carrots.
- In a medium bowl mix mayo, white vinegar, sugar, Kosher salt and black pepper together until all ingredients are evenly combined.
- Using a rubber spatula or spoon pour dressing over cabbage mixing dressing into cabbage as you do. Serve right away or for best results cover bowl with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator for 2 to 3 hours to allow vinegar to breakdown the cabage slightly. Enjoy!