Mark Bittman's Spicy No-Mayo Coleslaw with Variations

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Recipe for Mark Bittman's Spicy No-Mayo Coleslaw with Variations. This unique coleslaw is more flavorful and lower in fat than the traditional restaurant variety of coleslaw.


  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard, or to taste
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar, red wine vinegar, or freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh chile (jalapeño, Thai, serrano, or habenero), or to taste, optional
  • 1/4 cup peanut or extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 cups cored and shredded Napa, Savoy, green and/or red cabbage
  • 1 large red or yellow bell peppers, roasted and peeled if you like, seeded, and diced or shredded
  • 1/3 cup diced scallion, more or less
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup minced parsley leaves


  1. Time: 30 Minutes
  2. 1. Whisk the mustard, vinegar, garlic, and chile together in a small bowl.  Add the oil a little at a time, whisking all the while.
  3. 2. Combine the cabbage peppers, and scallion and toss together with the dressing.  Season with salt and pepper and refrigerate until ready to serve.  (It's best to let this rest for an hour or so before serving to allow the flavors to mellow; the cabbage will also soften a bit and exude some juice.    Or let it sit for up to 24 hours if you like.  Drain slaw before continuing.)  Just before serving, toss with the parsley.
  4. Variations:
  5. cabbage and Carrot Slaw, Mexican Style -- Equally good: Substitute 2 medium grated carrots for the bell pepper.  Use lime juice in place of the vinegar.  Finish with cilantro instead of parsley if you like.
  6. Apple Slaw -- A little sweeter: Use carrots instead of bell pepper, as in the preceeding variation.  Use 1 medium onion, grated, in place of the scallion.  Shred or grate 2 medium or 1 large Granny Smith or other tart, crisp apples and include them in the mix.  Lemon juice or cider vinegar is the best choice for the acid here.