It’s hard to find anyone who says they LOVE coleslaw. I think we’ve all been damaged by the gloppy, soggy, oddly gray coleslaws of our youth, in their sad little plastic containers, that accompanied cafeteria or coffee shop sandwiches. Well it’s time to change that up – think a crisp vegetable salad that’s tangy, a little sweet, and a cool and refreshing accompaniment to a barbeque or picnic. To celebrate the beginning of summer I offer you my favorite and extremely easy coleslaw.
I like my coleslaw a little sweet. But no sugar of course. Apples and carrots add just the right amount of sweetness, and color and crunch as well.
Coleslaw success is all in the dressing – it should be enough to coat the vegetables but not so overwhelming that it obliterates them. Rich but not greasy. A combination of yogurt, mayonnaise and Dijon mustard works beautifully. The yogurt lightens the dressing and gives it a wonderful tanginess that contrasts with the sweetness of the apples and carrots.
This salad is simple to make – especially if you have a food processor. I grate and shred the carrots and cabbage in the food processor. The hardest part is chopping a few apples by hand. One little trick for using the food processor to grate cabbage: I only have a medium-slicing blade. So to get finely shredded cabbage I don’t push down on the plunger. I just put my hand lightly on top, just enough to keep things moving, and the pieces come on much thinner than if I push down to move the cabbage through.
You can make this 6-8 hours ahead of time and keep it covered and refrigerated. It will stay crisp and delicious and should be a hit at your Memorial Day picnic.
A note on gluten free mayonnaise: there are gluten-free mayos available. The best description that I’ve found of which brands do and don’t contain gluten is from About.com.
- 1 large head of green cabbage (slightly less than 2 pounds)
- 3 large or 4 medium carrots, grated
- 3 apples, unpeeled and chopped into small bite-sized pieces, about 1/2"
- 1 1/4 cups plain yogurt (I use full fat)
- 1 1/4 cups mayonnaise (see notes above in the introduction for gluten free info)
- 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- Finely shred cabbage: cut cabbage into quarters the long way through the base. Remove the core, and shred. I use the food processor. I only have a medium slicing disk, so to get a fine shred I barely press on the plunger. You can also cut crosswise into very thin slices. Put shredded cabbage into a large bowl.
- Add grated carrots and chopped apple.
- In a small bowl mix together the yogurt, mayonnaise, mustard and salt. Add to vegetables and stir to coat. Taste and add more salt if desired.
- Cole slaw may be made 6-8 hours ahead of time and kept covered in the refrigerator.