This dish is a five-star, two-thumbs-up favorite for its taste and simple preparation and more importantly for the memories it holds for me. The recipe came years ago, from a special friend and super cook Betsy D. My files hold a generous scattering of recipes labeled Betsy's This and Betsy's That, every one of them a winner.
Betsy's Coleslaw has been a reliable go-to dish when we've grown tired of green, leafy salads or when it's been too many weeks between grocery stops on a cruise. Whole heads of cabbage keep well on board, though I will often stock packages of pre-shredded coleslaw mix instead. These handy packages take up less room, store easily in a boat fridge and are even easier to use.
This Wilted Cabbage Salad will hold in the fridge for days, it travels well and has been popular for ages at dock parties, picnics, potlucks and at home ashore. Add any number of other vegetables for variety; try shreds of raw fennel for an unusual licorice bite, or just enjoy the original.
RL loves this slaw as a salad or side dish and will often fill a small bowl for a snack "just because it's there". While the coleslaw is terrific by itself, I think it is even better when topping a Reuben sandwich or a fish taco. Betsy's Coleslaw is an essential recipe in my galley, I can't believe I haven't posted it before.
Wilted Cabbage Coleslaw
1 large cabbage, finely sliced
1 med. sweet green pepper, chopped
(or a mix of sweet green, orange yellow and/or red)
1 med. sweet onion, small dice
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. salt
1+ tsp. dry mustard (Coleman's recommended)
1+ tsp. celery seeds
1 cup vinegar
2 TBS oil
Mix sugar, salt, mustard and celery seeds in a small saucepan, add vinegar and oil and bring to a low boil over moderate heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. (Or use a 2 or 4 cup glass measuring cup and microwave until the mixture comes to a boil and the sugar dissolves.)
Pour over the cabbage mix and toss well. After it has cooled slightly, pour the dressing off the salad back into the saucepan, reheat and pour back on the cabbage. (Slightly wilted coleslaw is tastier and easier to eat and digest!)
Cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.