February 8, 2012

A zesty, crowd pleasing 1950s creamy coleslaw recipe

It's interesting, depending on who you ask, most people generally think of cabbage as either being more of a winter, or conversely, a summer vegetable. It's easy to see why this is the case when you compare the various dishes that cabbage is often included in.

During the dark, bitingly cold days of winter, one may turn to hearty cabbage rolls, soups laden with stringy strips of cabbage, or perhaps a warming helping of that fabulous Irish classic, colcannon. When the mercury starts skyrocketing, cabbage quickly appears in fresh green salads, Asian rice paper wraps, on veggie platters, and sometimes even as a Jell-o salad ingredient.

While tied a little more closely to summer, it's safe to say that coleslaw is one cabbage dish that does a particularly good job of transcending the seasons. It can be served as part of a barbeque spread, picnic lunch, supper of cold cuts in when the sun is shinning, or alternatively with roast meats, alongside grilled sandwiches, or as a refreshing side dish partner for any number of warm foods during the frosty fall and winter months (if you've not tried it before, I highly recommend making yourself a coleslaw and turkey sandwich, it's heavenly!).

Today's vintage recipe for coleslaw is a creamy one centered around Miracle Whip (you could easily use store bought or homemade mayonnaise instead, if you'd prefer) and the tangy, wonderfully yummy inclusion of tarragon vinegar (if you don't have any on hand, simply add some finely chopped fresh tarragon to white vinegar).

Tarragon - which deserve far more play than it gets, if you asks me - is an alluring, deeply flavourful herb that pairs well with everything from fish to eggs, chicken to lamb, so you can can easily saddle this 1950s coleslaw alongside a wide range of savoury dishes.

{Fabulous with hot meals - like grilled meats, burgers, or ears of piping hot corn - or cold supper alike during the sweltering summer months, coleslaw is a side dish that deserves some love all year long. Vintage Miracle Whip Coleslaw recipe by way of salty cotton on Flickr.}

If however, you (or other members of your family) are not huge tarragon fans, there's no reason you couldn't use a different herb vinegar (I've made also a similar recipe before with mayonnaise and the zest of from blood oranges, that is thoroughly delicious alongside all manner of grilled meats and vegetables), and by all means, feel free to toss in some carrot, celery, fennel, or spring (green) onion, if you'd like to up the veggie content in this great dish even further.

So while certain cabbage dishes are indeed most often associated with certain seasons, I've never felt like coleslaw needed to be tucked away on the proverbial shelf and only brought out when the dog days of summer arrive.

In fact, come to think of it, I probably eat more coleslaw (alongside roasted or pan-fried meats and veggies) in the winter than I do in the summer. No matter the time of the year though, I'm always up for a fantastic, creamy coleslaw like this great 1950s classic.


  1. I am not much of a mayo fan, but I will definitley choose mayo over Miracle Whip. And about the only time I will use mayo is in potato salad, chicken salad, or cole slaw. Even on a sandwich, I will generally use another kind of spread (hummus, Dijon, or cream cheese usually). But I have always preferred a mayo kind of coleslaw to a vinegar-based one.

    Oh, and by the way, I LOVE tarragon. One of my favorite soups is from a restaurant in Florida....called Chicken Velvet, it has a creamy tarragon base. YUM!

    Hugs to you,

  2. Wow, I can't believe I'm saying such an esoteric thing (okay, that's a lie) but you've reminded me how much I love tarragon! Maybe I should pick up a jar of Vegenaise and update this recipe for my quirky, modern diet! Thanks for the inspiration, babe! :D