Recipes Salads Vegetable Salads Buttermilk Coleslaw

Buttermilk Coleslaw

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Servings: 4

A barbecue isn’t a barbecue without coleslaw, and this version offers rich and tangy flavor with a homemade buttermilk dressing, enlivened with fresh herbs and raisins. 


For the buttermilk dressing:  

  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise 
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk 
  • 1/4 cup sour cream 
  • 1/2 bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley, leaves and tender stems, finely chopped 
  • 1/2 bunch fresh chives, finely chopped 
  • Salt and freshly ground white pepper, to taste 

For the coleslaw: 

  • 1/2 head green cabbage  
  • 1/2 head red cabbage  
  • 1 large carrot 
  • 1/2 red onion 
  • 2 shallots 
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins  
  • 3 Tbs. white vinegar  
  • Salt and freshly ground white pepper, to taste 
  • Chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley for garnish 
  • Snipped chives for garnish 


To make the dressing, in a bowl, stir together the mayonnaise, buttermilk and sour cream. Stir in the parsley and chives. Season with salt and white pepper. Use immediately, or cover tightly and refrigerate for up to 2 days.

Core and thinly shred the cabbage halves. Using a mandoline if desired, peel and thinly julienne the carrot. Very thinly slice the red onion and shallots.

Place the raisins in a small bowl. Add warm water to cover and soak until plump, about 30 minutes; drain. In another small bowl, combine the carrot, onion, shallots and vinegar and stir to coat.

In a large salad bowl, toss together the green and red cabbage. Add the raisins, the carrot mixture and the buttermilk dressing and toss to coat. Adjust the seasonings with salt and white pepper. Garnish with parsley and chives. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Serves 4.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma On the Grill, by Willie Cooper (Oxmoor House, 2009).