Tangy Apple-Cabbage Slaw
We reveal the secrets to tender cabbage, crunchy apples, and the sweet-and-spicy dressing that brings them together in this Southern barbecue side dish.
Why This Recipe Works
We wanted to discover the secrets to tender cabbage, crunchy apples, and the sweet and spicy dressing that brings them together in this Southern barbecue side dish. Because cabbage is relatively watery, we salted the cut cabbage to draw out excess moisture before dressing it, which prevents moisture from diluting the dressing later and leaving us with a watery Tangy Apple-Cabbage Slaw. Granny Smith apples work best in this slaw recipe—tasters loved their sturdy crunch and tart bite. We cut the apples into matchsticks so they could be easily mixed with the cabbage while retaining their crispness. Cider vinegar gave the dressing a fruity flavor, while red pepper flakes, chopped scallions, and mustard added some punch. To help the dressing cling, we heated it—the cabbage slaw readily absorbs a hot dressing, especially if it’s allowed to sit for an hour before serving.
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