When summer rolls around, easy cole slaw (or coleslaw) comes into my rotation for picnics, BBQs, and simple suppers. A great make-ahead side dish, this salad only improves over a day or two. I like to make a batch and enjoy it for several days.
There is no relation between grocery store cole slaw and this homemade version. Filled with fresh vegetables and lightly dressed, this easy cole slaw is healthy and delicious. Especially if your main dish is plain looking, the colors in this salad really brighten up your meal.
I won’t describe the stuff that sits in the grocery store deli display because my mom taught me not to say anything if I don’t have anything nice to say. Be sure, though, that I’m in favor of this homemade cole slaw every time.
By the way, the secret ingredient in this cole slaw is celery seed. While you don’t eat those seeds on their own, they add immeasurably to the overall taste of this dish and others. You can buy a small container (less than 1 ounce/30 g) that will provide enough for many batches of this cole slaw. Plus you can use them in other salad dressings, sauces, brines and dry rubs. You can even use celery seeds in soup stock, boiling liquid for shellfish, or meatloaf.
This salad works well no matter what equipment you have – or don’t. While you are welcome to cut the vegetables with a mandoline or a grater, that isn’t necessary. All you truly need are a cutting board, a knife, two bowls, measuring spoons, and something with which to mix the salad.
Check out this box grater, which my mom called a finger ripper. Despite many injuries from grating too close to the end of a chunk, I still love using it. However, for this salad, I prefer hand-cutting the vegetables in matchstick-sized pieces, like those on the right.
You can make this cole slaw in minutes and put it in the refrigerator at night and serve the salad the next day. It’s simple to change the number of servings, too. Just keep the ratios of the various ingredients roughly the same.
The dressing contains a small amount of mayonnaise, so the cole slaw should be kept refrigerated. When you first add it to the vegetables, the dressing may seem inadequate. But trust me – the amount specified makes for a nice, light dressing. After mixing the dressing and vegetables together, let them sit together in the refrigerator for at least an hour before you add extra dressing.
I think this cole slaw improves after you refrigerate it for at least an hour or so, giving the flavors time to meld. However, that’s not essential. For cole slaw (or coleslaw) without mayonnaise, check out my health salad/cole slaw.
This post is updated from an earlier version. The photos are new and the post is now part of a Progressive Eats salad party, but the recipe remains basically unchanged. (I did add a bit more mustard this time around and did not use the optional apple cider vinegar.) In case you wonder what my original photos looked like, here is one that shows how I slice the cabbage into shreds.
And now, back to my current post and photos 🙂
Welcome to Progressive Eats, our virtual version of a Progressive Dinner Party. This month’s theme is Summer and Fall Salads, and our host is Jane who blogs at The Heritage Cook.
If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, a progressive dinner involves going from house to house, enjoying a different course at each location. With Progressive Eats it’s a virtual party. The host choses the theme for the month and members share recipes suitable for a delicious meal or party. You can hop from blog to blog to check them out. Come along and see all of the delicious and inspired dishes!
Summer and Fall Salads
- Roasted Fall Veggie Salad – The Red Head Baker
- Polenta Caprese Stackers – Shockingly Delicious
- Spinach, Almond and Berries Salad – That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Antipasta Pasta Salad – The Heritage Cook
- Mixed Greens with Peach and Corn Salad with Balsamic Maple Vinaigrette – Karen’s Kitchen Stories
- Easy Cole Slaw – Mother Would Know (you’re here!)
- Simple Vegan Chickpea Salad with Olives – The Wimpy Vegetarian
- Brussels sprouts Salad with Shallot Vinaigrette – Sarah’s Cucina Bella
- Goat Cheese Salad with Raspberry Dressing – Creative Culinary
Easy Cole Slaw
This lightly-dressed cole slaw is a snap to make, and is perfect for picnics, BBQs, or a supper at home. Make the salad ahead & it keeps for days refrigerated. What are you waiting for?
- 1 pound cabbage, preferably mix of white and red 460 g
- 1-2 large carrots
- 1/2 red bell pepper
- 2-3 scallions (green onions)
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon celery seed
- 1/4-1/2 teaspoon deli-type mustard
- salt and pepper to taste
Cut the cabbages into very thin slices. Then cut the long, thin, matchstick-shaped slices in half to make cabbage shreds. The total should be about 4 heaping cups.
Cut the other vegetables into matchstick-sized pieces. If desired, grate the carrots, instead of cutting them. Toss all the vegetables together in a large bowl.
Mix the mayonnaise, sugar, celery seed and mustard in a small bowl. (See note below.) Pour the dressing over the vegetables and mix. Sprinkle salt and pepper lightly over the salad and toss again. Refrigerate covered for an hour and taste again, adding more salt and pepper if desired.
Sometimes I add a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to the dressing. In that event, I typically go with the smaller amount of mustard, as the vinegar gives the cole slaw plenty of tang.