Back in my ancestral home of PA (pronounced P-A, better known to non-natives as Pennsylvania), this is a favorite coleslaw recipe that is sometimes also called Pepper Cabbage. Instead of a mayo-based dressing, it has a deliciously refreshing sweet and sour vinegar dressing and lots of bell pepper flavor. (And if you’re looking for Pennsylvania Dutch recipes, check out my recipe for PA Dutch Creamed Cucumbers.)
I do love a good creamy coleslaw, but this slaw is just right for hot summer days and backyard BBQs. It’s crisp and, with all of those yummy bell peppers, just tastes garden-fresh. In fact, it is a perfect dish to make in the summer or early fall with produce fresh from the garden.
Now you may notice that the recipe contains rather a lot of sugar, but trust me, it’s totally needed because it also contains rather a large amount of vinegar. Hence, the sweet and sour. But if you prefer your slaw a little more sour than sweet, just use a bit less sugar.
And actually, the dressing for this recipe is like the kind of brine you would use for a sweet pickle, and this slaw could really be thought of as a pickled cabbage salad. Any way you want to look at it, though, it’s absolutely delicious. For the best results, make it a few hours ahead of time and store it in the fridge until ready to serve.
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PA Dutch Pepper Slaw
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Inactive Time: 0 hours
- Cook Time: 0 hours
- Total Time: 20 minutes
- Yield: 10-12 Servings 1x
- ¾ cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup sugar
- ¼ cup water
- 1 teaspoon celery seed
- 1 teaspoon dry mustard
- 2 teaspoons salt (use more or less to taste)
- 1 medium head green cabbage (about 2 pounds)
- 1 medium carrot
- 2 bell peppers (any color will work, but I prefer to use at least 1 green pepper)
- In a saucepan, combine the apple cider vinegar, sugar, water, celery seed, mustard, and salt. Bring to a boil, stirring continuously until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
- Chop cabbage in half and remove the core. Using a food processor, finely chop the green cabbage, carrot and bell pepper. (If you don’t have a food processor, you can chop them finely by hand, or use a box grater). Place the finely grated vegetables into a large bowl, and set aside while you make the dressing.
- Combine the vegetables and the dressing. Refrigerate until ready to serve. This slaw tastes best if it is made at least a few hours ahead.
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