This is the last of my trio of summer side salads. Coleslaw is a simple mix of carrot, onion, and cabbage in a creamy sauce, but they complement each other perfectly!
You will need:
- a sharp knife
- a chopping board
- a mixing bowl
- a spoon or two
and the ingredients:
- onion/spring onion
- salad cream (or vinegar)
Start by slicing your onion as thinly as you can. (You can find my cutting tutorial here.) If you find white onions too sharp, red onions are milder, and spring onions are milder still.
Thinly slice your cabbage (tutorial here), and grate your carrot (grating tips here). Put your sliced onion and cabbage, and grated carrot into a large mixing bowl.
(Save the carrot for last because, once cut, it can oxidise and turn brown. It’s still perfectly edible, but it doesn’t look as good. The sauce, which is the next step, will prevent air getting to the carrot and so prevent oxidisation. )
The sauce for coleslaw is very similar to that for potato salad (you can find my potato salad recipe here). Simply mix equal parts mayonnaise and salad cream. Alternatively, use mayonnaise and a little vinegar for a tangy sauce.
Mix everything together really thoroughly – using a fork will help break up the onion and cabbage. And it’s ready to serve!
Coleslaw is a really refreshing dish, and even though it’s a classic it’s fun to play with too! Try using different types of cabbage, or even brussels sprouts! Or you could add beetroot to complement the carrot, or some finely chopped nuts to make the sauce even creamier. And of course, you can add herbs and spices to make it even more flavoursome!
If you make coleslaw with this recipe, I’d love to see a picture of your finished dish!
Like a lot of green vegetables, cabbage is a terrible thing when overcooked. However, raw or lightly steamed it has a lovely flavour and crunch.
Just like lettuces, which I wrote about in an earlier tutorial (here), there are many different varieties of cabbage. And just like lettuces, cabbages share the same kind of leafy structure!
To chop a whole cabbage, you can just start chopping slices off the top! (For rounder cabbages like savoy, it’s easier to start by chopping them in half, then placing them on the cut side to chop.)
Because the cabbage is made of layers of leaves, it falls apart into thin strips once sliced. For cooking, I’d recommend slices about 1cm thick, but for salads I’d try to chop slightly thinner slices.
However, although they keep better than lettuces, cut cabbages don’t last for very long. So if you only want a little cabbage, peel a few leaves off the outside of the cabbage by hand. You can then stack them to make your job easier, and cut slices just as above.
These slices of cabbage take no longer than 5 minutes to cook, whether boiled, steamed, or stir-fried. It should become a slightly brighter green and soft (but not soggy!) when cooked.
(To make sure the whole cabbage is cooked at the same time, you may want to pull the leaves off the thickest, toughest part of the stem before cutting, but this is of course optional. )