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dressed coleslaw

Summer picnics in the States are replete with the interpretations of dishes brought from Europe by our Immigrant Ancestors™. Potato salads and coleslaw abound. We have three very basic kinds of potato salad; yellow potato salad, standard with egg, standard without egg, and one kind of coleslaw. In America, German potato salad is dressed with a vinegar & mustard base and served warm. And coleslaw is a single note salad drenched in a cream dressing. A little research revealed a good many varieties of coleslaw in German Cuisine. One recipe can be found here. It almost presents like kimchi with the addition of carrots and peppers.

This slaw is green cabbage, red pepper, vidalia onion and the dressing. It is prepared with the method used in the link above. Core the cabbage and remove the harder large parts of the bracts near the base. These are bitter and not very tender at all. You can always freeze the bits to use in making vegetable stock later. I chose to feed the wild rabbits. Once cabbage is sliced, sprinkle with a teaspoon of salt as in the method in the link.

My dressing is as follows

  • 1/3 C rice vinegar
  • 1-2 tablespoons celery seed
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 2 tablespoons sugar

Mix the dressing ingredients in a small bowl and whisk together. Let sit for about 20 minutes while you prep the rest of the salad.

Drain the water that has wept from the cabbage.

Cut the red pepper and onion into thin slices, add to the cabbage. Pour dressing over the salad and toss. Let sit over night in the refrigerator.

I sampled this in two hour intervals. It most definitely needs to sit in the fridge! The salt treatment lets the flavors get into the cabbage. Because the dressing was not cooked first, which would have made more of a refrigerator pickle consistency, it needs over night for the flavors to really get together well. It is even better the second day.

American palates be warned… this is not the coleslaw you buy in the store. It is not the coleslaw that your grandparents made. We are used to the creamy, runny slaw. Try this recipe at least once. It is a healthy alternative to traditional coleslaw, will keep better at a picnic and won’t sit heavy in your stomach.