I love cabbage. I like it raw. I like it cooked, especially in the traditional German dishes my grandmother made when I was a child. Hand me a soft Bierock filled with seasoned ground beef and sautéed cabbage and prepare for me to get misty at the thought of the version she made when I was young.
Ironically, I don’t like most preparations of coleslaw. As much as I love cabbage, I just don’t usually enjoy the dressing portion of a traditional slaw as much as I would like. Fortunately, preparing a homemade version is simple and the ingredients can easily be tailored to your family’s taste.
When I decided to create my own version at home, I filled it with my favorite fresh flavors. Since then, this slaw has become a family favorite here at the farmhouse. It’s delicious served with burgers, sandwiches, or grilled sausages. It also makes a great topping for tacos.
I love to include apples in this slaw. They add such a delicious sweetness to pair with the earthy cabbage. Their crisp flesh is also a nice texture to include in the mix. To keep the apples from browning, I used to sprinkle a little apple cider vinegar on them before adding them to the slaw. Then I had the wild idea to use a bit of the pickle brine I always have on hand in the refrigerator from our batches of Spicy Ginger and Garlic Quick Pickles. The brine works just as well to prevent browning and also adds a lovely flavor to the slaw. You can use any acidic brine you might have lingering in the fridge or simple add a bit of lemon juice or vinegar to the apples with equally good results.
This slaw is a great side dish during the warm summer months. While the main course is cooking on the grill, I make a batch of this slaw and dinner is ready without heating up the farmhouse. The next night, any leftovers can be served after a gentle toss to redistribute the components. The colors of the two colors of cabbage and apples are so beautiful on the plate and the crisp texture and flavors are sure to be a hit at your dinner table.
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
- 1 Tablespoon seasoning blend
- 1 green apple
- 1 red apple
- ½ cup pickle brine
- 2 large carrots
- 6 radishes
- ½ head green cabbage
- ½ head purple cabbage
- In a large bowl, whisk together mayonnaise and 1 Tablespoon of your favorite seasoning blend.
- Slice the apples into ½ thick slices. Cut each slice into matchstick shaped pieces, omitting the core. Add the apple pieces and pickle brine to a small bowl and toss gently to coat. Allow the apples to remain in the brine as you prepare the other ingredients.
- Using a vegetable peeler, peel the carrots. Use the peeler to cut ribbons from the peeled carrots. Add the carrots to the large bowl with the seasoned mayonnaise. Thinly slice the radishes and add them to the bowl.
- Prepare the cabbage by cutting each head into quarters. Remove the core of the cabbage before slicing each quarter into thin slices. You can also grate the cabbage if you prefer. Add all of the cabbage to the large bowl. Using a slotted spoon, remove the apple pieces from their brine and add to the large bowl. Reserve the brine.
- Toss the slaw gently to coat with the seasoned mayonnaise. Taste for seasoning. Add more seasoning if desired and a bit of the brine if needed to thin the mayonnaise and coat the components. Serve cold and sprinkle with the seasoning mix before serving if desired.