My perfect coleslaw

by Patricia Eddy on September 7, 2010

Coleslaw - My way

John likes to say that there are three dishes that folks can never agree on. BBQ, pizza, and chili. He’s right. Take BBQ. First you’ve got your regional BBQs. Texas, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Kentucky… there are more of course. Then you’ve got your meats. Beef, pork, chicken. Then you’ve got the question of sauces vs. rubs. Don’t fight… there’s no right answer here. Or rather, there are as many right answers here as there are people reading this post.

Pizza and chili are similar. From the type of crust, to toppings, to whether you like your chili with or without beans, this discussion can be worse than politics and religion. I won’t tell you that your choices are right or wrong, and I hope that you won’t tell me my choices are right or wrong either. So take this recipe with a grain of salt, or celery seed as the case may be, and realize that this is my ideal coleslaw. It may or may not be yours.

This recipe was loosely inspired by Shultzy’s. I love their coleslaw. I’ve been known to order a double serving. So when I found their recipe online a few months ago, I knew I’d make it. But when I did, it just wasn’t right. I think it was a scaling error. This recipe makes A LOT of coleslaw. Even though I did my best to scale it down, it’s possible that when made in small quantities, the ingredients just don’t mesh well. Regardless, I did like it enough to use their recipe as a basis for my own.

This was a fascinating process involving many ramekins of coleslaw with differing amounts of the key ingredients. It took several weeks, and a lot of cabbage, but I’ve finally done it. Here is my version of the perfect summer coleslaw. Just in time for winter.

Cook Local’s Summer Coleslaw, loosely inspired by Shultzy’s

  • 2 pounds of cabbage (about 1 head), shredded
  • 1 large sweet onion or 2 medium sweet onions, sliced thinly
  • 3 medium hot to hot red peppers, sliced thinly
  • 3/4 cup mayo (preferably homemade)
  • 5 Tbsp cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 3 Tbsp celery seeds
  • Salt to taste
  1. Mix all of the ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. Season with salt to taste. We found that Secret Stash Salt smoked chipotle salt was the perfect salt for the slaw.

Notes: The celery seeds are part of what give this slaw that typical coleslaw taste. However, they also are very strong and they can, um… get stuck in your teeth. So feel free to omit them. The slaw was just as good (though slightly different) without them.

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