Mark Bittman: Spicy No-Mayo Coleslaw




If you want restaurant-style coleslaw, you take shredded cabbage and combine it with mayo and maybe a little lemon juice. This version is far more flavorful with far less fat. I like cabbage salad (which is what coleslaw amounts to) on the spicy side, so I use plenty of Dijon, along with a little garlic and chile (you could substitute cayenne for the chile or just omit it if you prefer), and scallions. From How to Cook Everything (Completely Revised 10th Anniversary Edition)


Spicy No-Mayo Coleslaw

Makes: 8 servings
Time: 30 minutes

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard, or to taste
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar, red wine vinegar, or freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 small clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh chile, like jalapeño, Thai, serrano, or habanero, or to taste (optional)
1/4 cup peanut oil or extra virgin olive oil
6 cups cored and shredded Napa, Savoy, green, and/or red cabbage
1 large red or yellow bell pepper, cored, seeded, and diced or shredded
1/3 cup chopped scallion, more or less
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves

1. To make the dressing, whisk together the mustard and vinegar in a small bowl, along with the garlic and chile. Add the oil a little at a time, whisking all the while.

2. Combine the cabbage, bell pepper, and scallion and toss with the dressing. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and refrigerate until ready to serve. (It's best to let the slaw rest for an hour or so to allow the flavors to mellow; the cabbage will also soften a bit and exude some juice. You can let it sit longer, up to 24 hours, if you like. Drain the slaw before continuing.) Just before serving, toss with the parsley.

Cabbage and Carrot Slaw, Mexican Style. Grate 2 medium carrots and use them instead of the bell pepper. Use freshly squeezed lime juice in place of the vinegar. Finish with cilantro if you like instead of the parsley.

Apple Slaw. Use carrots instead of bell pepper, as in the preceding variation. Use 1 medium onion, grated, in place of the scallion. Shred or grate 2 medium or 1 large Granny Smith apples (or use any tart, crisp apple) and include them in the mix. Lemon juice or cider vinegar is the best choice of acid here.

Mark Bittman's award-winning How to Cook Everything has helped countless home cooks discover the rewards of simple cooking. Now the ultimate cookbook has been revised and expanded (almost half the material is new), making it absolutely indispensable for anyone who cooks-or wants to. With Bittman's straightforward instructions and advice, you'll make crowd-pleasing food using fresh, natural ingredients; simple techniques; and basic equipment. Even better, you'll discover how to relax and enjoy yourself in the kitchen as you prepare delicious meals for every occasion.