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Tuesday, July 7, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Picnic-ready, classic slaw gets a healthful upgrade – and a flavor boost

UPDATED: Mon., June 1, 2020

This slaw has all the familiar flavors of a classic cole slaw – cool, crisp cabbage, sweet shreds of carrot and a kick of sliced red onion in a lusciously creamy dressing. (Tom McCorkle / For The Washington Post)
This slaw has all the familiar flavors of a classic cole slaw – cool, crisp cabbage, sweet shreds of carrot and a kick of sliced red onion in a lusciously creamy dressing. (Tom McCorkle / For The Washington Post)
By Ellie Krieger Special to the Washington Post

Cole slaw is a good friend to me all summer long. This is the version that’s on my table so often that making it feels breezily familiar – thinly slice the cabbage and onion, grate the carrot, then toss it with the creamy-tangy dressing.

It is cool company for other summer fare, from whatever’s on the grill to picnic sandwiches and salad spreads, and it holds up well in the refrigerator for days so you can pull it out as needed to fuel the summer fun without missing a beat.

It’s flexible, accommodating whatever ingredients are on hand – any type of cabbage will do, plus any other sturdy vegetable such as fennel, jicama, bell pepper or radish; and something onion-y such as scallion or sweet white onion. Sometimes I gussy it up with a sprinkle of caraway, sunflower or pumpkin seeds and/or add a fistful of dried fruit such as golden raisins, chopped apricots or cherries.

But this classic slaw doesn’t need embellishment; it is delightful in its simplest form, as written here. Its flavors are comfortingly traditional, but it has an updated, fresh twist that makes it more healthful. Rather than the heaps of mayonnaise of an old-fashioned slaw, the dressing gets much of its creaminess from Greek yogurt with just a little mayo added for optimal richness.

Like a trusted friend, this slaw is a dish that makes life more pleasurable and a little easier. I’m happy to introduce you to it here.

New Classic Cole Slaw

1/2 cup plain low-fat Greek yogurt

1/4 cup mayonnaise

3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon honey

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

8 cups very thinly sliced green cabbage (from 1 medium cabbage)

1/2 cup coarsely grated carrot (1 medium carrot)

1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion

In a large bowl, whisk together the yogurt, mayonnaise, vinegar, honey, salt and pepper. Add the cabbage, carrot and onion and toss well to combine. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to overnight so the cabbage softens a bit. Toss well before serving.

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

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