I’m going to be honest here; growing up, I actually somewhat liked Kentucky Fried Chicken’s coleslaw. My mother seemed to have a bit of a fondness to it, and I could handle small bites of it from time to time when I wasn’t focused on the mashed potatoes and gravy, further proof of my lack of good taste in youth.
It wasn’t until later (much, much later) that I realized that coleslaw could be elevated to something far beyond a very sweet mayonnaise laden mass of limp vegetables.
After a bit of research and tinkering, this is my version of a slightly sweet and tangy coleslaw. Clear measurements at the end of the post.
First thing you need for coleslaw are the vegetables. Cabbage, onion, celery and a carrot are required. Green bell pepper (not pictured) is not, but a welcome addition. Unless you have a friend who is highly allergic to it. Which I do.
I’m just making a modest batch of coleslaw this time, so I only needed about a third of that cabbage and half the onion pictured.
Beyond the vegetables, you need flavor of course. Paprika, apple cider vinegar, honey mustard, olive oil and ground white pepper are what I use to bind everything together, along with an optional certain something. More on that later.
Yes, my family keeps white pepper in the black pepper container. We’re very frugal around here.
Ok, now on to the fun stuff. First step, dealing with all of the vegetables. The slicer side of a grater works pretty great as long as you’re very careful. Again I state VERY CAREFUL. This applies doubly if you using a mandoline slicer, or so I hear.
The onions are probably best dealt with via knife work too. A food processor would probably make this whole process moot actually. Anyway, keep reading!
When your stub of veg is at the point of your comfort level or attentiveness, it is time to use more traditional means.
The cabbage can be cut into pieces which can be given a similar treatment through the slicer, or again, simply with some quick knife work.
This much cabbage will yield about three cups shredded, which is what we want for a moderate amount of coleslaw.
The carrot should be grated, or julienned if you have a lot of time on your hands. I rarely do.
The picture below shows grating a carrot bit further than my comfort level, but I was really careful!
The stub can then be dealt with easily with a knife. Or used for something else, like stock.
And optionally some bell pepper. And there you have it for vegetable prep. Nice colors yeah?
Now for the flavor. A very scant teaspoon of salt, and a tablespoon and a half of sugar.
Quarter cup of cider vinegar, and a tablespoon or two of oil. Or a quarter cup of oil (see note in recipe/keep reading).
Top it off with a pinch of paprika and some grinds of pepper, and squeeze in about two tablespoons of honey mustard.
If you’re feeling a bit sumptuous, add two tablespoons of a garlicky aioli (preferably homemade)or mayo along with some minced garlic.
I know what some of you are thinking, “I thought we were trying to get away from mayo?” Well I never said that, I just promised this wouldn’t be mayonnaise laden. This is mayonnaise enhanced.
Mix all of these wet ingredients thoroughly and pour over the sliced vegetables.
Refrigerate the mixture for a while before serving. It’s best to give it a bit of time to allow the flavors to mingle.
And there you have it, a really nice, light and sweet coleslaw.
Stay tuned for the next few posts, as I’ve got a use for this that will absolutely knock your socks off.
Light and Tangy Honey Mustard Coleslaw Recipe:
- 3 cups shredded cabbage
- 1 medium carrot, shredded
- 2 celery ribs, sliced thinly or in small chunks.
- Half of a green bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 1/2 cup cider vinegar
- 1 and 1/2 tablespoons of sugar
- 2 tablespoons of honey mustard
- very scant teaspoon salt/heaping half teaspoon
- pinch of pepper
- pinch of paprika
- 1/4 a cup of vegetable oil OR 2 tablespoons of oil and 2 Tablespoons of garlicky aioli (or 2 tablespoon of mayonnaise and small clove of garlic, minced)
- In a large bowl, combine the shredded/sliced cabbage, carrots, celery, green pepper, onion and bell pepper if using.
- Combine the vinegar, oil, sugar, salt, pepper, paprika and mayo if using, whisk or stir very well.
- Pour over cabbage mixture and toss well to coat.
- Cover and refrigerate until serving.