Combine crunchy veggies with a creamy tangy sauce, and you’ve got a colorful side dish for year round enjoyment. A no frills, southern style cole slaw.
My sister absolutely adores KFC’s cole slaw, and while I admit, I love it too because of the sweetness and tanginess, I’d just as rather make it at home (that way I get tons more of it). Taking a few notes from their copycat recipe, I’ve been able to come up a slightly tangier version made from quality ingredients I always have on hand.
For the raw veggies, I prefer both green and red cabbage as I love the contrast in colors. After all, how often do you see purple foods on your plate? To the cabbage I add in carrots for pop in color, and minced garlic and onion for flavor.
Once my veggies are all cut up (you can dice or shred them), I salt everything and let them sit. I learned this trick from all my pickling over the summer. Sliced cucumbers or any watery vegetables, once salted, will draw out excess moisture ensuring crisp results in the end recipe. I usually weigh down my salted veggies with a few jars of canned goods and let sit for a few hours. After that I rinse and put everything into a colander to drain. It’s plenty of time to assemble my dressing without feeling rush.
Of course it’s your preference when you dress your coleslaw, but everything including the dressing will turn a more vibrant purple the longer you let it sit. I like to dress my slaw and serve it within the hour. I don’t mind the purple, actually getting quite excited about how it will turn everything that hue, but it is something to keep in mind based on your guests.
The dressing uses mayonnaise for that full body flavor, milk and vinegar to recreate tangy buttermilk, and then some sugar and spices to round everything out. I never happen to have buttermilk on hand when I need it so I’ve grown quite fond of placing vinegar into my milk and allowing it to sit and congeal. While not the same thickness of buttermilk, it still imparts that bitter flavor into recipes and some of the body.
Once finished, it’s simply time to sit back and enjoy. Serve with hush puppies, barbecue, or your favorite fried goods. My personal favorite is served alongside burgers in the summer, and over sweet pulled pork with avocados and cilantro. It’s just a great all purpose recipe for summer picnic, or pick me up when the winter blues set in.
To full plates and eating your tarte out,
- 1 medium head of green cabbage
- 1 small head of red cabbage
- 4 carrots
- 1 medium onion
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 1/8 cup of salt
- 1/2 cup of whole milk
- 1/4 cup of cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup of sugar
- 1/2 cup of mayonaisse
- 2 teaspoons of dried mustard
- 1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
- Salt to taste
- Finely shred or dice your cabbage and carrots. Additionally, mince your onion and garlic. Set all vegetables into a large bowl.
- Mix in the salt. Allow mixture to sit for at least one hour in the refrigerator, or up to three hours with a weighted plate on top of the vegetables.
- Remove vegetables from the refrigerator and place them into a colander. Rinse and allow excess moisture to run into the sink as you make up your dressing.
- Combine the milk and vinegar, allow to sit for fifteen minutes and congeal.
- In a large bowl, combine the milk mixture and the remainder of your ingredients, whisking to bring everything together into your dressing.
- Place your drained vegetables into the dressing, and stir to combine. Add additional salt and pepper as needed. Serve immediately or shortly thereafter.
- If you don't want a purple tinge to your cole slaw, opt for using a large head of green cabbage for the cabbage component in this recipe.