Creamy Coleslaw

creamy coleslaw
Every time I set out to make coleslaw, I end up reinventing my recipe. Not because I want to so much as that I don’t have a recipe I love, so I am forever pulling one offline or out of a cookbook, making it mine for the night and then not writing it down.
There is, of course, the difficulty of slaw being a very loose recipe to begin with. I make it with what I have on hand and with what’s growing in the garden. Recently I’ve been stirring up cabbage, carrots, peppers, radishes and chives. Other times there’s fresh dill or spring onions. I’ll throw in ginger if I have some in the fridge or leafy greens, like kale, if they’re close.
 But even with my penchant for making-it-up-as-I-go, I still hanker for a map to turn my the vinegar-lemon-mayo-veggie combo into something sublime. So here goes …
Makes 8 servings


  • 2-4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 tsp. fine sea salt
  • 1 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup fresh dill or parsley or chives, though I really miss dill when I don’t have it
  • 1 Tbsp. granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh squeezed lemon
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2/3 cup mayonnaise (homemade if you’ve got it)
  • 1/2 head cabbage, can be red or green
  • 3 medium carrots
  • 6 large banana peppers (or 2 red or green bell peppers)
  • 8 large radishes
*All vegetables can be substituted for others; if you keep the quantities roughly the same, the ratio of veggies to dressing should be fine.


  1. Place garlic, salt and pepper into the food processor with the knife blade. Pulse until the ingredients are minced and form almost a paste.
  2. Add dill and sugar and pulse until all is finely chopped and mixed. Add and mix in vinegar and lemon juice. Remove to a medium bowl. Gently stir in buttermilk and mayonnaise. Cover and refrigerate.
  3. In food processor, grate first the cabbage, then the peppers with the 2mm slicing blade. Remove to a large bowl and set aside.
  4. Grate carrots and radishes with the grating blade in the food processor. Stir into the cabbage and peppers.
  5. Add dressing and stir well. Refrigerate for at least an hour and up to a day in a covered container.
  6. Before serving, toss well. Drain excess liquid. Adjust seasonings to taste.

Published by christinanifong

A writer of stories. About kale and turnips. Seeds and dirt. And, you know, life. Find essays, recipes and writing samples at