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Homemade Purple Cabbage Coleslaw

Homemade Purple Cabbage Coleslaw

Who Created Coleslaw?

I don’t know about you, but I like to know foodie facts. So when it comes to a recipe like coleslaw, does anyone even know where it came from?

I did some research and I found that the Dutch coined the term “coleslaw” for their combinations of the words koolsla (cabbage) and sla (the contraction of salade) to equal “cabbage salad.” The English morphed the above Dutch phrases into what we have today: coleslaw.

If you’re curious though, coleslaw isn’t stereotypically a Southern American recipe. According to Wikipedia (take this with a grain of salt), Germany, Sweden, the UK, and Italy (though they use ham), all have their own versions of “coleslaw” — who knew!

My Favorite Coleslaw

You may be surprised, but I haven’t always eaten coleslaw. In the past, it wasn’t that I was a picky-eater. I think it’s because coleslaw was always a wet container of runny mayo with chunks of raw onion.

That changed when I went to a well-known deli in Pompton Lakes called “Town & Country”

Town & Country is an amazing local spot that’s been there for decades. They sell a sandwich that has a pile of homemade coleslaw on top — which is sweet and crunchy. It was only after trying Town & Country’s coleslaw that I developed a taste for it.

Now, whenever a restaurant offers coleslaw, I order it to compare the flavor profiles and textures.

This Week’s Recipe

This week, I’ve decided to recreate a recipe from Pinterest (the golden source of recipe inspiration). This recipe uses savory coleslaw ingredients, while calling for both mayo and vinegar.

Of the recipes I researched, the dressing used either mayo or vinegar, not both. So I’m interested to see what combining the two does.

As I’ve never made homemade coleslaw from scratch, this will be a learning experience for both the flavors and best practices with the vegetable textures.

Homemade Purple Cabbage Coleslaw Ingredients

Homemade Purple Cabbage Coleslaw Ingredients_K.Martinelli Blog_Kristen Martinelli.png

As always, you can adjust the ingredients to your preferences. I love fresh herbs, so I added some extra parsley to my dressing.

Sometimes it's hard to imagine why an ingredient is in a recipe. For this recipe, I wasn’t too confident with the addition of mustard. I half-heartedly added the tablespoons (not heaping) to my dressing, so that it wouldn’t over-power the dish.

If you know you like specific flavors (like I do with fresh herbs), feel free to tweak the recipe.

Do you prefer sweet coleslaw? If you do, you can add a few tablespoons of white sugar at the end of the recipe to change the final flavor.

Homemade Coleslaw Instructions

Homemade Purple Cabbage Coleslaw Instructions_K.Martinelli Blog_Kristen Martinelli.png

The hardest part of the recipe is removing the core from the purple cabbage. The purple cabbage leaves are sturdy and dense. I used two sharp knives — one to core and slice, and the other to chop into bite-sized pieces.

Green cabbage leaves are more delicate and thin than the purple cabbage. This made the green cabbage easier to cut and pull apart.

The Final Product

The Portion Size

I used half of each medium-sized cabbage. The final amount of coleslaw was enough to feed five adults as a side-dish. Some people also had second helpings, and I still had leftover coleslaw.

I would make this dish for a group party or if you have a large family. You could try the recipe using one-fourth of everything, but sometimes that changes the final product.

The Flavor

While this isn’t Town & Country’s coleslaw it is a good recipe. The mustard is the savory undertone for the dressing on the slaw. You can add more black pepper. I could register the vinegar flavor in combination with the mustard, though it didn’t overpower anything else.

I did try the coleslaw with some sugar. It mellowed out the vinegar flavor and draws your attention to the mayo rather than the vinegar.

Tips and Suggestions

  1. I made my purple cabbage coleslaw right before serving dinner. I would be interested to see if there’s more flavor by making it in advance and letting it chill in the fridge for a day. The only potential downside to that, is that the dressing may be absorbed/veggies lose their crunch.

  2. When I was first mixing the coleslaw, I thought I wasn’t going to have enough dressing. The dressing amount is correct, so don’t worry as you mix the final ingredients. Gradually add your dressing to the slaw and mix/fold over and over until the vegetables are coated. You’ll have enough dressing in the end.

  3. If you prefer to have extra dressing on your coleslaw (and for leftovers), then try adding extra mayo and seasoning to the above recipe.

K. Martinelli Makes Homemade Purple Cabbage Coleslaw

Thanks for Watching

Do you have a favorite coleslaw recipe? Where do you stand on mayo vs. vinegar dressing? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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