Coleslaw seems to make a lot of appearances during the summer months. Despite the fact that it needs to be refrigerated (due to the presence of mayonnaise), it is pretty much a staple of every picnic, potluck and bbq when the weather is hot. Its popularity mystified me for many years since I hated the stuff. One day, however, I stumbled upon a coleslaw that was light, flavorful and crunchy, which gave me a new appreciation for the dish and prompted me to try my own hand at it.
Since that time, I’ve had many variations on ‘slaw (and still don’t particularly care for mayo-heavy versions) but this is one of my favorites. It combines Waldorf salad – another mayo-dressed salad with apples, celery, walnuts and raisins – and classic coleslaw. The celery is replaced with cabbage, giving the salad a more substantial feel than the traditional Waldorf and a bit more interest than traditional coleslaw.
I believe I originally saw this recipe in an issue of Cooking Light, but I have made it enough times now that I don’t always rely on the basic recipe when I mix it up. I tend to “eyeball” the ingredient amounts more often than not. I like to use more yogurt than mayonnaise in my dressing to keep the flavor light, but you could certainly use even amounts to balance the flavor more towards a traditional one. Another variation is to use a mixture of green and purple cabbage, or one of raisins and dried cranberries, to add a little more color. Any way you make it, though, it’s a great summer side: cool, crisp and tasty.
3-4 cups cabbage (1/2 head), shredded
2 medium/large apples, diced (Granny Smiths work well)
1/3 cup raisins
1/4 cup plain yogurt (nonfat or full, I prefer greek-style)
2 tbsp mayonnaise
1 tbsp honey
2 tsp rice vinegar
salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 cup chopped, toasted walnuts
Combine cabbage, apples, raisins and walnuts in a large salad bowl.
In a small bowl, whisk together yogurt, mayonnaise, honey, vinegar and salt and pepper. Taste the dressing and adjust the seasoning as necessary. Pour dressing over cabbage mixture and toss to combine.
Cover and chill at least 2 hours before serving.
Stir in chopped, toasted walnuts before serving.