Classic Coleslaw

The good old classic coleslaw, it almost goes synonymous with a summer holiday weekend.  Coleslaw goes with anything, especially anything that has been grilled.  This summer in NYC, we visited one of my favorite delis, the one that brings a big metal bowl of pickles and one of coleslaw to every table.  I couldn’t even wait for my corned beef sandwich to come, I just had to dig right in.  Fortunately there were six of us, so they brought us a few bowls of coleslaw, because I plowed through one of them pretty quickly.  By the time my sandwich came, I had to dig into the second bowl.  Their coleslaw is amazing, there is no mayonnaise, just a vinegar dressing that the cabbage has been soaking in for probably days.  It is crunchy and absolutely addicting – by itself, or in between a sandwich that is already bigger than your mouth.  Oh wait, and did I tell you about the chocolate soda they bring around after your meal?  Just classic.

I decided to make some coleslaw to go with our BBQ, and I searched for a recipe that would be good, and I just couldn’t find anything that appealed to me – until I found this on Epicurious (from Bon Appetit).  I figured since it was called Classic Coleslaw, I couldn’t go wrong.  Really what sold me on the recipe was the fact that it had diced dill pickles and pickle juice in the dressing.  I decided to change the recipe slightly though, and added radicchio instead of purple cabbage, for a nice twist.  I was glad I did, I liked the slight bitterness with the tangy dressing.  So – it still didn’t hold a candle to the deli coleslaw, but it was still classic in its own way.  Look at that picture, is that classic coleslaw or what?


  • 2/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup minced onion
  • 3 tablespoons minced dill pickle plus 2  tablespoons pickle brine
  • 2 tablespoons distilled white  vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon prepared white  horseradish
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black  pepper
  • 3 cups shredded cabbage
  • 3 cups shredded carrots
  • 3 cups shredded radicchio


Whisk the first 9 ingredients in a medium bowl to blend.

DO  AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Keep chilled.

Toss the cabbage, carrots and raddichio together in a large serving bowl.  Add the dressing, and mix to coat.

For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, please click here:  Classic Coleslaw

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2 thoughts on “Classic Coleslaw

  1. Oh I LOVE coleslaw! It’s the best side for a BBQ! Or on top of a shredded pork or brisket sandwich! Yum. Thanks for sharing!

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