Few salads scream fresh and summer as well as the perennial summer favourite, coleslaw. While the ingredients in coleslaw — which are hardy and store well — make this a great year-round salad, there is something truly exceptional about making this supremely creamy version when the ingredients are young, fresh and in season. So when a young head of green cabbage and heirloom carrots showed up in my CSA share, I knew I had the perfect nutritious accompaniment for my barbecued ribs with root beer sauce and my Baked-Barbecued Apples.
For me, the perfect coleslaw has the right balance of creamy, tart, sweet, and savoury … with a great crunch. But what I hate about most creamy coleslaw recipes is that they are too much “mayo” in flavour (or worse, they taste like Miracle Whip … what the hell?!). My solution to this is sour cream and dill. I’ve also chosen ingredients to maximize the colour of the slaw, hence the reason for adding a little purple cabbage as well. Finally, what really distinguished this particularly batch of coleslaw was the young, baby head of green cabbage. The core still had the typical thickness and crunch, but the outer edges of the leaves were soft and tender like Napa cabbage. The result was a coleslaw that was infinitely digestible (hint, hint for those who react to cabbage).
Note: you can make this dish the day before and, like with most slaws, this is better once it has had a chance to sit in the fridge for 12-24 hours.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: N/A
Total time: 15 minutes
- 3 cups of shredded organic green cabbage (one small head or about 1 pound)
- 1 cup shredded purple cabbage
- 3/4 cup of grated carrot (about 1 large carrot)
- 1 cup of grated apple, unpeeled (1 large apple)
→ choose a firm, semi-tart apple with a red skin (e.g. Gala or Fuji)
- 1 teaspoon of lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon (packed) of finely chopped fresh dill weed
- 1/2 cup of raisins (optional)
- 1/3 cup mayonnaise
(Do NOT use a salad cream like Miracle Whip)
- 1/3 cup sour cream
- 4 tablespoons of milk or light cream
- 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice or apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon celery salt
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
= yields about 1 cup of dressing
- In a 1-cup glass measuring cup, combine mayonnaise, sour cream, milk, lemon juice, celery salt, and pepper and whisk them all together with a small whisk or fork. Adjust for salt, but the dressing will taste a slightly too ‘salty’ because it is going to be diluted in the slaw.
- Strip away the rough and dirty outer leaves of the cabbages. Cut in half and remove the tough core from the bottom by making a ‘triangle’ cut. Turn the cabbage onto a cutting board, cut-side down, and with a very sharp chef’s knife, julienne (shred) the cabbage by cutting it into reasonably thin slices. Toss the cabbage into a large mixing bowl, separating out the strands as you do so.
- Using the largest part of a grater, take the whole apple (core included) and grate top to bottom the apple, making long strips of apple, and turning the apple as you do so. Don’t grate the core! but grate right up to it. Discard core and toss shredded apple with teaspoon of lemon juice to prevent browning. Add apple to the cabbage.
- Grate the carrot with the same grater as above and add to the cabbage.
- Remove the fronds from the dill and finely chop. Add to the cabbage.
- Add about 3/4 of a cup of the dressing you made above and stir into the grated and shredded ingredients. Mix well enough to ensure everything is evenly covered. If the slaw is too dry, add more dressing until it is to your taste. Adjust for salt if necessary.For those who want the extra sweetness of the raisins, add them now … or don’t. I like it both ways equally.
- Cover and refrigerate a minimum of 2 hours.
- Remove onto plates and garnish with more fresh dill.
Serves 8 as a side salad.