Sweet and Tangy Coleslaw

Let me start out by saying, I know coleslaw is a personal decision.  Some folks like the creamy kind made with mayo or sour cream or whatever it is that makes it creamy.  I can actually go for a nice bowl of creamy coleslaw every once in while, especially if it has those little caraway seeds in it.  Yum.

However, most of the time I am in the non-creamy coleslaw camp.  I like the kind that is a little bit vinegary-sharp, a little bit sweet, and with just the right balance of cabbage and carrots.   And the Southern husband…well, don’t even TRY to sneak any creamy coleslaw by him.  He’s definitely a tangy coleslaw guy.  It might be the boots…who knows.

Side note: this picture is not mine…it was shot by the teenager.  She had a photography assignment where she had to shoot people’s feet in some way that represented who they are.  She wanted to shoot her dad in his boots, which I thought was very appropriate.  Then she got to me.

She also photographed my in my sneakers next to a laundry basket.  Hmm.

Anyway, back to the coleslaw.  I never seem to make coleslaw in the winter…I must have some subconscious rule in my head that coleslaw can only be made when it is above 70 degrees outside.  And every year when coleslaw season rolls around,  I have managed to lose whatever recipe I found the year before for non-creamy coleslaw.  This year I found it again, and figured if I just put it up on the blog, at least next year the search would be a little faster.

This recipe is from the always fabulous folks at Cooks Illustrated, and as always the recipe itself makes you scratch your head a little when you first read it (put the cabbage in the microwave?  Really??) but as always, it comes out perfectly.  Trust me.  So here it is…the only coleslaw recipe you will need all summer.  And if you come back in a couple of days for my next post, I’ll be showing you something pretty dang good that you can do with it.

Sweet and Tangy Coleslaw
Serves: 4
  • ¼ cup cider vinegar , plus extra for seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • ¼ teaspoon celery seed
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ large green cabbage (about 1 pound), cored and shredded fine (about 6 cups)
  • ¼ cup sugar , plus extra for seasoning
  • Table salt
  • 1 large carrot , peeled and grated
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
  1. Combine ¼ cup vinegar, oil, celery seed, and pepper in medium glass or metal bowl. Place bowl in freezer until vinegar mixture is well chilled, at least 15 minutes and up to 30 minutes.
  2. While mixture chills, toss cabbage with ¼ cup sugar and 1 teaspoon salt in large microwave-safe bowl. Cover with large plate and microwave on high power for 1 minute. Stir briefly, re-cover, and continue to microwave on high power until cabbage is partially wilted and has reduced in volume by one-third, 30 to 60 seconds longer.
  3. Transfer cabbage to salad spinner and spin cabbage until excess water is removed, 10 to 20 seconds. Remove bowl from freezer, add cabbage, carrot, and parsley to cold vinegar mixture, and toss to combine. If desired, adjust flavor with sugar or vinegar. Season with salt to taste. Refrigerate until chilled, about 15 minutes. Toss again before serving.

From Cooks Illustrated


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  1. Joanne says

    I dont know how those folks at Cooks Illustrated come up with this stuff. But I'm a tangy gal all the way so I'm gonna have to give it a go!

  2. Rivki Locker (Ordinary Blogger) says

    What a beautiful recipe. I am not a big one for cream coleslaws, so this looks perfect to me. And I LOVE your daughter's photos. What a clever assignment!

  3. Vicki says

    Great boots! I didn't know there was two types of coleslaw. Good to know. My real question is, why does your dog have on two collars? Is one reflective?

  4. Barbara says

    Your daughter has talent! Her photos are wonderful.
    I'm in the old fashioned creamy cole slaw lovers.

  5. Kate Morgan Jackson says

    Thanks all! Yes, she is very talented (said her proud mama!). Vicki, the other collar is for the invisible fence – we need to keep her safe from adventuring out too far towards the road. Safety first! :)

  6. says

    I love the slaw recipe but the dog with the Clemson collar was a refreshing site now that I am up in the New England area! Go Tigers and thanks for the blog!

    • Kate says

      Hurray and Go Tigers! (The teenager is a sophomore and counting the days until she is back in the stands at Death Valley!) :)


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