Coleslaw is a condiment that people really have a love hate relationship with. It’s not an internal love/hate thing…it’s some people LOVE coleslaw and some people HATE coleslaw. It can lead to marriage altering arguments causing a house divided. Not that I would have any experience in this matter, okay…I do. Craig loves the stuff, I despise it. Unless it’s a vinegar coleslaw recipe…then I’m all over it.
You’ve probably tasted an Asian coleslaw which is made from the lighter tasting rice wine vinegar and a touch of sugar. That’s the coleslaw recipe that I gravitate to. This sweet and sour coleslaw is like that times 10.
After a recent dinner at a new restaurant we managed to score a reservation at we were served a dish of crab cakes with a fantastic coleslaw. It was so good, and I got to taste so little of it (thanks Craig…way to share) that I asked our waitress if she could get me a little plate of just the slaw. Thankfully she did, and that’s where this vinegar coleslaw recipe comes from. I’m pretty sure I was making little noises of happiness and joy while I was stuffing those little cabbage strands in my mouth and savoring that sweet and tart tanginess.
What makes this coleslaw so different? Of course it starts with cabbage (natch) but instead of just using some vinegar and sugar for its flavor, this purple cabbage salad has the addition of chopped dill pickles and bread and butter pickled CELERY. Then, the vinegar that’s used to dress the coleslaw is part dill pickle vinegar and bread and butter pickle vinegar. Madness! I know!
I changed my version up a little bit (because I didn’t have any dill pickles) and used cornichons (those tiny little pickles you sometimes find served at restaurants…I love to just snack on them). I also used my grandmother’s bread and butter pickle recipe for the pickled celery. Pickled celery, while very weird sounding, is ridiculously delicious. Trust me when I tell you that you won’t miss the cucumbers when you make these pickles.
This coleslaw is one of those easy recipes that you should keep at your fingertips. It not only looks really pretty on a plate, but it pairs well with so many different kinds of food. I served it with crab cakes, just like at the restaurant, but it would taste fantastic piled high on a sandwich, especially a juicy and messy bbq sandwich.
This recipe is quite versatile too. I already told you that I swapped dill pickles for cornichons. But you could also switch the bread and butter celery with pickles. I used red cabbage but you could also use green or Napa cabbage for this as well. I also threw in some shredded endive and the pickle recipe includes onions…so those went in too. The amount of each of the vinegars, used as dressing, is up to your taste as well. You could also top this with some toasted and chopped almonds for even more crunch. Have fun with it!
- ½ Head Red Cabbage (shredded)
- 3 Heads Endive (shredded)
- ½ Cup Dill Pickles or Cornichons (roughly chopped)
- ½ Cup Bread and Butter Pickled Celery (including the onions)
- ¼ Cup Pickle Juice (from dills or cornichons)
- ¼ Cup Bread and Butter Pickle Juice
- Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- Toss all of the ingredients into a large bowl and taste.
- Adjust the amounts of all ingredients based on your liking.
- Add a few grinds of black pepper.
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