Classic coleslaw. It’s cool, it’s crunchy, it’s a summertime, picnic-time staple. Unfortunately, it’s also boring as hell. Don’t get me wrong, traditional slaw is fine, and it’ll fulfill your potluck obligation, but you’ll never hear anyone utter these five little words: “Wow, who made the slaw?” It just won’t happen.
But that doesn’t mean you should forsake the picnic favorite; man cannot live on chips alone.
If you are trying to eat more veggies, you can’t go wrong with coleslaw. Grated or chopped into small pieces, even the most unpalatable vegetables (shout out to the broccoli haters) taste good in a slaw.
And coleslaw goes with everything: burgers, barbecue, chicken or fish if you change up the ingredients. Just ask the celebrity chefs. Bobby Flay gives his slaw a southwestern flair with the addition of cumin and lime; and Ina Garten makes a great Italian slaw featuring kale and radicchio. Trust me, in the wide, wide world of slaws, there is one for what your serving.
Here’s the best part. Coleslaw is cheap, cheap, cheap — errr, I mean inexpensive — and simple to make. If you are on a budget, volunteer to bring the slaw, but do everybody a favor and make it special.
Jazzed Up Original: Get colorful with red cabbage or purple heirloom carrots; add green apple for additional crunch and lighten the load with Greek yogurt in place of the mayonnaise.
Citrus Slaw: Use three cups Napa cabbage for some curly fun and add orange or grapefruit segments for a little zing. For a simple dressing, mix equal parts grapeseed oil, apple cider vinegar and honey (salt and pepper to taste.) Goes great with pork.
Mexican Turnip Slaw: If you’re weary of cabbage check out this jicama slaw for a funky change of pace.
The Bugs Bunny: When’s the last time you ate a whole pound of carrots? It’s easy with the following carrot slaw. It’s slightly sweet, refreshing and goes really well with barbecue or jerk chicken. Check it out, doc!
Serves: 6 servings
Serving size: 4
- ⅓ cup golden raisins
- 1 pound carrots, grated
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- ¼ cup sour cream or plain yogurt
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ⅓ cup diced fresh pineapple
- Place raisins in a small bowl and pour boiling water over to cover. Let sit for five minutes and drain.
- Place the grated carrots in a bowl and toss with lemon juice.
- Whisk together the sour cream, mayonnaise, sugar and salt. Pour the dressing over the carrots. Add the pineapple and raisins. Toss and serve immediately.
Skip the raisins and add chopped walnuts or dried cranberries instead.
Adapted from the Barefoot Contessa
Got a variation on coleslaw that you love? Let’s hear it! —Karen