Red Cabbage and Dill Slaw ~ this colorful slaw goes with anything and everything this summer…I say skip the deli counter and make your own, it’s easy, healthier, and costs just pennies per serving!
I can feel it, this red cabbage cole slaw recipe is the beginning of a slaw binge. I don’t know how many of them will wind up on the blog, I don’t want to drown you in slaw, but for me, I’m craving the stuff, and the cool peppery crunch just feels right with everything these days.
Every cuisine has a version of slaw, and that’s because cabbages are the workhorses of the food world ~ they’re healthy, sturdy, and cheap.
This one had roots in Pennsylvania Dutch country, where slaw is serious business. A creamy buttermilk dressing, an entire bunch of fresh dill, chopped pickles, and pickle juice make this red cabbage and dill slaw stand out from the rest.
The best slaw is sliced, not shredded, at precisely 1/8″ ~ any thicker and it will be tough to eat, any thinner and it disintegrates into mush. Trust me on this.
I use a mandoline slicer for slicing my cabbage. This will be the quickest method with least cleanup. You can control the exact thickness of your slices, which is important. For this salad I cut up a small head of cabbage, and about a half of a small sweet onion, I love Vidalias when I can find them.
I add a whole bunch (literally, an entire bunch) of chopped fresh dill, and a couple of finely diced dill pickles.
The buttermilk mayo dressing is thinned with pickle juice and a touch of vinegar. There are mustard and celery seeds in there as well.
TIP: Don’t thin your dressing down too much, the cabbage will release moisture as it sits in the refrigerator, and will naturally thin out the dressing, so I like to start with a relatively thick mixture.
Red cabbage is so healthy, and that gorgeous purple color signifies so many nutritional benefits ~ it has more vitamin C than oranges, and tons of anti-oxidants.
FOOD STYLING TIP: Save some fresh dill to scatter over the red cabbage cole slaw just before serving, the colors will really pop.
- l medium head red cabbage, about 1 1/2 pounds
- 1/2 small sweet onion such as Vidalia, Maui, or generic sweet
- 1 bunch fresh dill, finely chopped (about 1/3 cup after chopping) Reserve some for garnish
- 2 dill pickles, finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 4 Tbsp buttermilk
- 4 Tbsp dill pickle juice, strained
- 3-4 Tbsp apple cider or champagne vinegar to taste
- 1 tsp yellow mustard seeds
- 1 tsp celery seeds
- 1/2 tsp salt
- fresh cracked black pepper to taste
- fresh chopped dill
- Cut the cabbage in half, and then into quarters. Slice away the white core. Cut the quarters into 1/8 inch slices, a mandoline slicer works well for this, Put the cabbage in your largest mixing bowl.
- Slice the onion into 1/8 inch slices, and cut the rounds in half. Separate the strands as you add them to the bowl. Add the chopped dill and pickles and toss well.
- Whisk together the dressing ingredients and give it a taste to adjust. Toss the slaw with enough dressing to thoroughly moisten, but don't drown it, you may have extra dressing. Cover well and refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.
- Just before serving toss again, add more dressing if necessary, and garnish with fresh dill.
- There’s a sweet spot for serving slaw, and it’s somewhere between 1 and 4 hours after it’s been made. Any less time and the flavors won’t have a change to sink in and tenderize the cabbage ~ any more time and it slowly starts to break down and loose crunch and color. That being said, the slaw will be perfectly fine the next day, I’m just being a perfectionist about it ;)
- Be sure to taste it before you serve it…you may want to add more salt, more vinegar, or more pepper, etc.