Pink Slaw

Pink Slaw

I’ve gotten to the point in my life that I’ve begun to notice my tastes have changed.  It’s not so much that I prefer some tastes over others, but more that I crave things I never have before, and look less forward to other tastes I’ve always loved.

Let’s talk cabbage, shall we?

My mother makes a mean cole slaw:  chopped green cabbage, mayonnaise, a few other ingredients I’m not too sure of, and pickle juice.  There always seemed to be cole slaw at picnics and parties in the summer and I never understood completely why people enjoyed it.  It was nearly colorless and somewhat soupy.  But the pickle juice saved it for me, so if I happened upon a cole slaw that didn’t have pickle juice, then forget about it.  None of that cloyingly sweet stuff for me.  Definitely nothing with Miracle Whip.  Goodness.  No, it was the slight tartness I was attracted to.

Now?  Well, I’m all about that tartness.  I love raw cabbage.  I love the crunch.  I love the not sweet, but slightly briney quality of a very good slaw — one you’d want to heap onto a plate of ribs, or a knockwurst.

Serve me up.

Pink Slaw


1/2 head red cabbage, shredded
1 lg. carrot, peeled and grated
1/2 lg. red onion, sliced thinly
1 lg. jalapeno, minced
1 Bay leaf
1 c. red wine vinegar
1 c. extra virgin olive oil
1/4 c. fresh lime juice
1/4 c. cilantro, chopped
5 T. piloncillo, grated
2 tsp. orange zest
1/8 tsp. ground alspice
1 /2 tsp. cumin
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground pepper


  1. Drop the shredded cabbage in a pot of boiling salted water to blanch, about 1 minute.  Drain into a colander and run cold water over it, then set aside to cool.
  2. Once cooled, place in a salad bowl and toss with carrot, onion, jalapeno, and bay.
  3. In a measuring cup, whisk vinegar, oil, lime juice, cilantro, piloncillo, orange zest, allspice, salt and ground pepper.
  4. Pour over the cabbage mixture and toss, then allow to sit at least 20 minutes before serving.

IMG_4472  IMG_4473

IMG_4483  IMG_4482

Beef Ribs, Chimichurri & Slaw


  • This recipe was adapted from one appearing in the June 2009 issue of Gourmet, “Guatemalan Red-Cabbage Relish.”  It’s traditionally enjoyed with tamales and enchiladas or beef.
  • Very easy to make, and possibly addicting.  Make sure you keep it within arm’s reach so you can pop a pinch now and then into your mouth.  The flavor is wonderful, the texture perfectly crunchy, and it’s beautiful!
  • If you’re someone used to the idea of pickle relish — this is not as sweet.  If you’re someone used to creamy coleslaw (packed with fat calories…) this is oh so healthy!
  • If you can’t find piloncillo or don’t want to mess around with trying to grate one of those little cones which are seriously hard as rocks, then use brown sugar.
  • If you don’t like the idea of the jalapeno, then a few shakes of dried red pepper flakes would be nice.
  • I made this to sit along side some grilled ribs and chimichurri, but it was most fabulous stuffed in a knockwurst with some cheese and mustard the next night.
  • Keep it in a zip lock bag in the fridge for days…

Dog & Slaw

23 thoughts on “Pink Slaw

  1. WANT.


    This slaw is one of those recipes that hits every sort of flavor I want to eat: crunchy, salty, tangy, sweet, fresh. I am making this for our next bratwurst night for sure!

  2. I love cabbage! And there’s something about purple cabbage that is just so much better than the green stuff. Oh, and sauerkraut on brats. Yum!

    1. Thank
      s Jo — can’t take credit for the idea, though. Just knew we’d like it when I saw the recipe in Gourmet and was completely right. ; )

  3. Oooh, we’re truly into the cabbage, too – raw, or only slightly pickled. Have you ever tried Mae Ploy sauce? Take a look at this page and look down the side towards sweet chili sauces. Look familiar? If not, go out and buy a bottle, and I guarantee you’ll love it as a cabbage-slaw dressing all its own!

  4. Holy crap Kelly that looks awesome! I love cole slaw, sweet, vinegary, anyway I can get it but I love the jalapeno and cilantro in this. Great idea.

  5. It’s gorgeous!
    How muc does the piloncillo add? Not sure if I’ve ever seen that around here!

    This is an awesome alternative to my usual recipe — and so… pretty!!

  6. This could my go-to side dish this summer. Love the mix of sweet and spicy flavors. And it’s the most beautiful color!

  7. Beautiful Kelly! I made regular cole slaw the other day and the kids hated it! wonder if they might like this better. The color is nicer for sure!

  8. bless your heart for creating a mayo-free slaw. mayo-based slaws need to disappear from this world. i love the color, obviously, and i love the little touches that make this particular recipe something the eater won’t soon forget–orange zest, allspice, awesome.

  9. Easy to see it’s got all the right stuff Kelly! I have to believe this is an absolute winner. Our tastes really do change, the best of course is when I think “no way am I liking xxx” and then I fall in love with it.

  10. Fabulous slaw KP…it’s WOW all the way. I love that last pic & am ready to dive into the screen! It’s after dinner, & I’m hungry all over again!

  11. I am seriously picky about cole slaw. I hate most american slaw because of how *sweet* people make it. THIS sounds good. Going to have to try it. I admit to never even hearing of piloncillo.

  12. Yum! I make a similar variety… with red cabbage and white, and cilantro and carrots (sometimes yellow carrots, too!) Instead I use a dressing of soy, rice wine vinegar, mirin, ginger, garlic, and olive oil. Becomes and “asian” slaw. My kids actually *love* it 🙂

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