One of my favorite salads from my years in both GA and VA is southern cole slaw. It has the creamiest dressing, the lovliest vinegary, slightly sweet taste, and a crunchy goodness that goes with so many summertime dishes.
This quick southern cole slaw recipe was not easy to come by. Southerners guard their slaw dressing recipe or leave out a key ingredient – the little devils – but I guarantee this recipe is the real thing.
When I moved to Atlanta in 1963, southern food to me meant fried chicken and that was about it. I soon learned how different southern cooking was because Italian imported products did not exist in the Atlanta of the 60’s.
My parents came once a year, driving down in Dad’s Cadillac (Yes folks, back in the sixties, the Cadillac was the American dream car) that was loaded down with imported cold cuts, meats, parmesan cheese, olive oil and bunches of fresh basil.
But in between those lovely excursions, I had to use what was popular at the Piggly Wiggly. I never heard of chuck roast, pork butt, pimento cheese, sausage biscuits, chicken fried steak, but I learned over the seven years I lived there. When Paula Dean came on the Food Network, I laughed because all her “southern” recipes are now very familiar to me.
1 small head of green cabbage, shredded thin
1 large carrot or three baby carrots, shredded
1/2 medium red onion, diced
2 1/2 tbsp sugar or to taste
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2/3 cup of mayonnaise
1/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper or to taste
Take off the outer leaves of the cabbage until you reach fresh light green leaves. Cut the cabbage in two and with a knife take out the core, leaving the cabbage with a wedge shaped space in each half. You can either thinly slice the cabbage using a very sharp knife, or you can use the shred tube of a food processor. Place the shreds in a large ceramic bowl.
Shred your carrot in a food processor or grate it using the largest holes on a box grater because you want to be able to see the pretty color of the carrot throughout the slaw.Place the carrot shreds in the bowl with the carrots.Peel and chop 1/2 the red onion. Sprinkle the chopped onion over the shredded cabbage and carrots.
In a small ceramic bowl whisk together the rest of the ingredients: the oil, vinegar,mayonnaise, sugar, salt and pepper. Taste for seasoning. Then pour this dressing over the cabbage mixture in the bowl and toss together until everything is well coated with dressing. Cover the bowl and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Try not to eat it all yourself while making it because the dressing combination is extremely addictive and while you are gobbling it up you tell yourself that cabbage is calorie free and good for you. However, sadly, mayonnaise is not! Happily, small portions are fine.