Cole slaw is actually a fairly recent love in my life. Growing up, it somehow became the epitome of gross foods that I hated eating, to the point that I would gag if I had to try it. Somewhere in the course of becoming a super mature adult, though, I must have started liking cole slaw, because it makes pretty regular appearances on the menu at my house. I think what really sold it for me was the North Carolina tradition of often putting the slaw right on pulled pork sandwiches, which frequent readers will know is one of my all-time favorite foods.
The problem with cole slaw is that it’s often made with a ridiculous amount of mayonnaise. This makes it really creamy and delicious, but substantially unhealthy for something pretending to be a vegetable side. To me, that’s unnecessary– the creaminess definitely adds to the experience, but I know that 1) lots of other versions of coleslaw made only with vinegar are still pretty delicious, and 2) it’s hard to specifically taste the mayonnaise once it’s all mixed in to the cabbage. So as a compromise, I looked to one of my best friends in the kitchen: yogurt!
Yogurt adds a nice creaminess and tartness to things like this, and in a setting where there are a lot of other flavors (like with cole slaw or chicken salad, etc) it doesn’t necessarily come through as distinctly “yogurty”. Even if it does, you can add more flavors like vinegar, mustard, sugar or even some oil without compromising the nutritional balance of your meal too much.
I used brussels sprouts as the cabbage in this case, but the dressing would work equally well in with other cabbage versions as well (I’m becoming a big fan of savoy for cole slaws lately). The sprouts are a little tougher than normal cabbage, hence the blanching in this version that wouldn’t normally happen in a cole slaw recipe.
Brussels Sprouts Cole Slaw Recipe (with yogurt dressing)
1 lb brussels sprouts or other cabbage
2 green onions
3/4 cup yogurt
2 tsp dijon mustard
1/2 tsp pepper
salt to taste
1 tsp sugar
2 tb cider vinegar (or more if you’d like)
1 tsp celery seeds (optional)
Rinse the sprouts and remove any outer leaves that are wilted or yellow. Cut them in half. If you’re using a different cabbage, you can skip this step and just grate it as is.
With a hand grater or food processor, slice or grate the sprouts. There’s a lot of variation here depending on your texture preference. I realized the “grating” plate made way too fine a mixture, so I just used the “slicing” side twice to get nice thin ribbons.
Bring a pot of water to an easy boil, and briefly blanch your grated sprouts (no more than around 10 seconds). Again, this is unnecessary for cabbages that aren’t as tough, but if you’re using something else it may help to salt the grated cabbage and leave it to drain for a little while to get rid of excess liquid.
Slice/grate the carrots and green onions, as well as any other vegetables you make like in your slaw, and add to the mix.
Mix the dressing ingredients, and fold into the cabbage party. Let rest, refrigerated, for at least an hour before eating so flavors can marry nicely.
There you have it! It may not taste exactly like what you’re used to, but it’s pretty close and it grew on Rachel and I pretty quickly (actually, for Rachel it’s the only cole slaw she’s really liked so far). Definitely delicious and worth making. Hope you like it, tell me how it goes!