A Very Picky Coleslaw Fan

September 4, 2008

I’ve made no big secret of my mayo aversion. It’s perhaps most evident in the collection of slaw recipes on this site, closely followed by the potato salads, another picnic staple. None of the slaw or potato salad recipes on this site include mayonnaise (nor does this one, which I’ve been making faithfully every couple weeks since Heidi posted it) and today’s recipe is no different.


That said, you might not guess that it’s mayo-free on first, or even second, bite. It’s creamy and lush, like a traditional slaw, but instead of using mayonnaise as a binder, this recipe relies on a combination of buttermilk and blue cheese, brightened by a splash of apple cider.

(Click “more” for the rest of the story, more photos & the recipe.)


Over-sweetness is another problem I have with most slaws. This one diverges from the treacly standard in two ways: first, its dressing is tangy (from the buttermilk) and pungent (via the blue cheese) and kicky (thanks to the vinegar) and it would take quite a bit of sugar to combat these anti-cloying qualities. Second, the slaw is only gently sweetened with a pinch or two of sugar.

This slaw gets better after a night in the fridge, which makes it wonderfully BBQ-friendly. For me, the more make-ahead dishes the better. That way, you can crack open a bottle of beer, recline in a lawn chair and visit with the guests instead of scurrying around the kitchen. Wow, that sounds really nice, doesn’t it?

Summer’s Last Stand: We’re making the most of one of the last weeks of summer by meandering through the Canadian Rockies. As such, comment moderation and email responses will be slow this week. But, while we’re away, daily posts will highlight components of a Summer’s-Last-Stand BBQ menu. Up tomorrow: open-face fresh blueberry pie.

Blue Cheese Coleslaw
Adapted from Gourmet

1/2 cup blue cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup buttermilk
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 to 2 teaspoons sugar
12 cups shredded red and green cabbage

Place first 4 ingredients in processor; blend until smooth, about 30 seconds. Place cabbage in large bowl. Add dressing; toss. Season with salt and pepper. Cover; chill at least 1 hour.

(Can be made 1 day ahead; chill. Toss before serving.)

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9 Responses to “A Very Picky Coleslaw Fan”

  1. sue bette Says:

    I fall on the other end of the mayo spectrum – I can’t get enough of it! I like how this slaw leans to the tangy not the sugary, it looks like the perfect addition to BBQ or on a sandwich.

  2. Mandy Says:

    I think I’m going to try this. I’m not much of a mayo fan, either. But I always try to like slaw and sort of do but this is right up my alley.

  3. Beth Says:

    Sounds great. I love coleslaw (mostly with Marzetti’s coleslaw dressing), but my boyfriend can’t stand anything with mayo (or most white condiments in general). I’ll definitely try this on him, though.
    One thing: I don’t like bleu cheese all that much. What about gorganzola or a similar cheese? I’ll give it a try soon and let you know if it works!

  4. Leigh Says:

    Looks fab, but a life without mayo I cannot imagine! :)

  5. Hanna Says:

    I looooove blue cheese. Will definitely try this one.


  6. sue bette: You can have my share of mayo any time. And, now that you mention it, this *would* be lovely on a sandwich. Yum.

    Mandy: I spent a lot of time “trying to like slaw” too. I didn’t have success until I made it myself and could control the ingredients. Plus, blue cheese helps. : )

    Beth: Gorgonzola would certainly work. Hope this convinces your guy!

    Leigh: Well, here’s hoping you shall never go mayoless. : )

    Hanna: Me too! Let us know how it goes!


  7. I love blue cheese! And a mayo-less coleslaw? I think I’m head over heels!

  8. Y Says:

    I love coleslaw, but definitely without too much mayonnaise on it. This recipe sounds great – just my kind of thing, I’m sure!


  9. js: Sounds like this is just the slaw for you!

    Y: You won’t miss the mayo.


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