Make Ahead

Bella's Coleslaw

October  4, 2022
11 Ratings
  • Serves 8
Author Notes

Bella was my grandmother, she was raised in a Shtetl in the Ukraine, came to America at 16. She met my grandfather at a meeting for the Communist Party on the Lower East Side of NYC. Her English was not great, but she knew the word party and so she went to The Party, as it were. She was a fabulous grandmother, a fervent though not always successful cook, an insistent forager, and an ardent feeder. Eat, Eat My Darling Eat was her Mantra.

One the best meals at Bella's was Schnitzel, which she fried with garlic- oh how I loved those slightly burnt bits of garlic that would cling to the cutlets, Cole Slaw, signature Pink Applesauce (made with Plums) and Apple Cake.

She pretty much made cole slaw for every meal, she had a hit and she knew it. Chanuukah, Thanksgiving , Passover, Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter always there was cole slaw & apple sauce.

And rightly so because her coleslaw was the best I have ever had, ever. The dill & scallions lend a distinctive Eastern European flavor that I love.

She never wrote down a recipe and after much trial and error I hit it, and it was a proud moment, when mine finally tasted like hers.

This does have mayo in it, so it is best for picnics that include a cooler. If it concerns you, you can use a tofu mayo, I haven't so I can't attest to the results.

It is great as a side with Fried Chicken or Schnitzels ( My favorite picnic or anytime meals involve chicken that has been breaded, battered or floured and fried) and super fantastic on a fresh Turkey Sandwich on Rye with Russian Dressing. —Aliwaks

What You'll Need
  • 1 Medium sized head of green cabbage, like the size of a child's head
  • 1/4 cup Kosher Salt
  • 1/4 cup White Sugar
  • Juice of two lemons
  • 1/2 cup Mayonnaise (Hellman's or Best Foods or Home-made)
  • 3 Large Carrots, grated
  • 3 Scallions, chopped- Green & white Parts
  • 1/2 cup Fresh Dill, Chopped
  • 1/2 Fresh Parsley, Chopped
  • Fresh Ground Black Pepper
  • 1/4 White Vinegar
  1. Core the Cabbage, and slice in a fine Julienne, place in a large bowl, large enough to stir it around without it spilling all over the place
  2. Mix Salt & Sugar together
  3. Rub the Salt & Sugar Mixture into the Cabbage , rub really well, use your hands, get in there, and let it sit for about a half an hour or up to 1 day.
  4. Mix in remaining ingredients, Mayo, Lemon Juice, Herbs, Scallions, Vinegar season to taste with pepper, you probably won't need more salt
  5. And that's it.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Cena
  • Aliwaks
  • luvcookbooks
  • Tara Hamilton
    Tara Hamilton

5 Reviews

Cena July 26, 2020
Agree with Tara. WAY to much salt. Otherwise pretty traditional.
Cena July 26, 2020
Agree with Tara. WAY to much salt. Otherwise pretty traditional
Tara H. March 10, 2019
Of note: 1/4 cup of Kosher salt is way too much for this amount of cabbage! Could probably cut it to less than half that and be in good shape.
Aliwaks December 12, 2014
Thanks Meg!!!!!!!!!! : )
luvcookbooks December 12, 2014
Luv the stories in your headnotes.