During the 17th century, Dutch immigrants founded the colonial province of New Netherland, now known as New York. The Dutch planted cabbage along the Hudson River and often served it shredded in a salad they referred to as koolsla– kool meaning cabbage and sla meaning salad. The dish grew in popularity throughout the colonies and eventually came to be known as coleslaw, or “slaw.” During the early 1900’s, as the Jewish deli culture gained momentum in New York, coleslaw proved to be a popular menu item because it could easily be made pareve (prepared without milk or meat). This meant coleslaw could be served alongside kosher meat items, including the ubiquitous pastrami on rye.
There are many variations of coleslaw; the simplest versions are made from shredded cabbage dressed with mayonnaise or vinegar and oil. Here, I’ve made a very traditional deli-style coleslaw with the addition of chopped dill pickles. The sweetness of the coleslaw dressing combined with salty pickles is a dynamite flavor combination. I’ve used rice vinegar instead of white vinegar for a milder flavor, and I added some dill pickle juice to the mix to complement the chopped pickles. A pinch of cayenne gives it just a touch of heat. Serve it up as a side salad or use it to top your favorite barbecued burger. Make sure you give the coleslaw some time in the fridge to marinate, so those flavors really have a chance to blend. Overnight is best. If you’re looking for a tasty mayonnaise and you don’t want to make your own, I recommend Spectrum Organic. It’s my absolute favorite. No, I’m not being paid to say that, I’m just a big fan. It’s super tasty.
This would make a terrific side for Super Bowl Sunday, or a picnic, or a barbecue… or any time you have a hankering for some classic coleslaw. Enjoy!
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- 2 lbs green cabbage, cored and shredded
- 1/2 cup peeled and shredded carrots
- 3/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1/3 cup rice vinegar
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 tbsp dill pickle juice
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Pinch of cayenne pepper
- 1/3 cup diced dill pickles
- Combine the shredded cabbage and carrots in a large mixing bowl.
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, rice vinegar, sugar, dill pickle juice, salt, and cayenne pepper.
- Pour the dressing over the cabbage and add the diced dill pickles. Stir and toss the salad till all of the cabbage is evenly coated with dressing.
- Place coleslaw in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, up to overnight, stirring every so often.
- The dressing will collect in the bottom of the bowl over time. Just before serving, stir to redistribute the dressing throughout the salad. Serve cold.
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