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Coleslaw with a crunch and punch

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Posted: Friday, May 3, 2013 11:24 am

Summer is on the horizon, and with it comes summer food. Every weekend warrior needs a few sides in their quiver that go along with the sweet and smoky offerings of barbeque.

A good coleslaw recipe is one of the essentials. My favorite recipe has a lot of crunch, a little punch, and other ingredients that make it taste bright and fresh. The crunch comes from jicama, the punch from horseradish, and the freshness from either parsley or cilantro (your choice), and celery seed in the dressing. Jicama is a member of the radish family.

If you’ve never seen one, ask your produce person. I’ve tweaked this recipe dozens of times to get a flavor profile pleasing to me, my family, and friends. I prefer rice vinegar because it’s flavor is more subtle, and due to its sweetness, requires less sugar. I would invite you to work with it yourself, if you find some tastes either too soft, or too overwhelming.

It’s all about what you like, and what becomes a hit with those sharing your table. I use the prepackaged coleslaw mix from the bagged salad area, but feel free to chop your own cabbage and carrots, if that floats your boat. If you chop your own, you may have to double the dressing to get the proper ratio. I lifted the idea of adding horseradish from a lunch I had at the “Rutherford Grill” in Napa. It really brings something to the party.


1 package coleslaw mix with green cabbage, red cabbage and carrots.

1/2 medium sized jicama, peeled, grated, and squeezed of liquid in a cloth kitchen towel.

1 cup of chopped flat leaf Italian parsley, or cilantro, or a mixture of both — leaves only.

Tops of 3 green onions, green parts only, sliced finely.


3/4 cup mayonnaise

1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar. (substitute white vinegar or apple cider vinegar if you wish)

1 tablespoon sugar (add one more tablespoon of sugar if not using rice vinegar).

1 tablespoon celery seed

1 teaspoon Beaver “extra hot” horseradish

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Mix up all ingredients, pour over salad, mix well, and allow at least one hour for flavors to marry. Mix well again and serve.

Chuck Nelson was born in Lodi attended school in Galt and Stockton. He has been a hair stylist in Lodi for 33 years, currently at Oasis Salon. He is married to Glenyss and has two daughters, Trisha and Tracy and one grandson, Dylan. He enjoys reading, doing mind puzzles, playing golf and cooking for family and friends.




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