I’ll be the first to admit it took me a long, long time to warm up to coleslaw. Well, because, like many of us, I never knew from good coleslaw.  It never appealed to me. And, honestly why would it when you’re staring through the deli case looking at a mound of white flecked with a few errant bits of carrot sitting in a soggy, watery pool? It always turned me off and I became very vocal about my dislike of this abomination of cabbage. But my husband loves coleslaw.  L-o-v-e, loves it. Even that god-awful pre-made stuff in the plastic containers he likes to put on hot dogs on his “free” nights (when I’m out of town and unable to stage an intervention).

So, I made it my mission to create a coleslaw that I would love. Fresh, colorful, crunchy and a brightly-flavored salad, a little bit sweet and a side that I would happily make and eat on a regular basis with burgers and ribs.

Mission accomplished.

The Stock Pot: Old-Fashioned Sweet Vinegar Coleslaw

Author: Cheryl Beverage Barnes
Serves: 8 to 10
Sweet Vinegar Coleslaw
Sweet Vinegar Coleslaw


  • ½ small head green cabbage, core removed and finely shredded
  • ½ small head purple cabbage, core removed and finely shredded
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • ⅓ cup canola oil
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon celery seed
  • kosher salt and black pepper


  1. Place the cabbage and carrots in a large bowl. In a small bowl or jar, combine the sugar, mustard, oil, vinegar, mayonnaise and celery seed. Add salt and pepper to taste. Whisk or shake the dressing until combined.
  2. Keep the cabbage mixture and dressing separate until about an hour before serving. Toss the cabbage mixture with the dressing and serve.


…from the Picture-Perfect kitchen:

Planning: Slice the cabbage as thinly as possible with a good, sharp knife. Or, to make short work of shredding the cabbage, use a food processor fitted with its shredding disk. I use the large holes on my box grater to shred carrots. You can prep your vegetables and the dressing a few days in advance – just store them separately in the fridge.

Product Purity: You want to use a neutral vegetable oil here, like canola. Dry (or powdered) mustard is simply finely ground mustard see. Customize your coleslaw by adding your favorite items, like raisins or blue cheese.

Presentation: I like to serve this old-fashioned dish in an old wooden bowl garnished with fresh chives. But for whimsical, individual servings, save those outer cabbage leaves – they make a perfect “bowl” for the coleslaw.

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