Who would think to mess with something as simple as coleslaw? I came across a jar of chia seeds on the pantry shelf that sparked an idea. My mother-in-law used to feed a crowd of us at the lake cabin on a lot of summer weekends. Often the menu included coleslaw tossed with a slightly sweet, clear dressing and poppyseeds. It was really good but I didn’t want noticeable sweetness in this mix. My mom’s was standard coleslaw with mayonnaise and a little vinegar, and I didn’t want this too tart. This is a mashup of the two types.
Green cabbage was run through the grater on a food processor. I dug out the spiralizer to make curls from some big carrots, and then thinly sliced and chopped red cabbage to get a variety of textures. You could add thin slices of onion, or even pickled onion, but as much as I like raw onions they are off my list. Sometime maybe I’ll tell the story of the springtime radish and onion sandwich that led to a hospital stay and gallbladder surgery when I was 21. Or maybe that’s as much as you need to know about it.
I perked this up with lime juice but vinegar is the usual tartness in coleslaw. If you choose to use vinegar instead there are so many flavor choices – try apple cider, champagne, or sherry varieties. Chia seeds and paprika are unexpected twists on texture and heat. Sunflower seeds add a nice crunch but don’t add them to the coleslaw, where they’ll absorb dressing and get soft. Pass a little dish of them with the coleslaw so they can be added to each serving.
This is a summertime food side dish, great with grilled or smoked meat, or as a topping on fish tacos. Be careful if serving this at a picnic. Anything with mayonnaise and sour cream should not be left out for more than an hour or two, especially in hot weather.
– Joan, 15 May 2020
Not your mama's coleslaw
- 2 cups green cabbage, grated
- 2 cups red cabbage, thinly sliced and chopped
- 2 large carrots, spiralized or grated
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced onion or pickled onion, optional
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- roasted and salted sunflower seeds for serving
- 3/4 cup mayonnaise such as Hellman’s Mayo with Olive Oil
- 3/4 cup sour cream
- 2-3 teaspoons lime juice or flavored vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey
Stir together the dressing and set aside. Mix all the other ingredients in a large bowl, then stir in the dressing until well coated. Refrigerate an hour or until serving. Pass sunflower seeds for topping at serving time. Keeps for 2-3 days, tightly covered and refrigerated.