Seasonal Coleslaw

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Prep Time: 120 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 6 to 8

At Sarah Simmons’s New York restaurant Birds & Bubbles, whose name refers to the fried chicken and sparkling wines that are the star of the southern menu, seasonal coleslaw is served with the chicken to add its signature crunch and fresh flavor. The restaurant changes its slaw with the seasons. In the summer add julienned jicama and green tomatoes, and in the autumn try julienned pears or apples. In the winter, pomegranate seeds add great color and texture. The leftover pickled mustard seeds will keep for at least a few weeks in a covered jar in the refrigerator. They make an excellent accompaniment to charcuterie plates and can be used in place of mustard as a sandwich spread or in salad dressings.


For the pickled mustard seeds:

  • 1/4 cup (2 oz./60 g) yellow mustard seeds
  • 6 Tbs. rice vinegar
  • 6 Tbs. water
  • 2 Tbs. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt

For the dressing:

  • 6 Tbs. (3 oz./90 g) sour cream
  • 1/4 cup (2 oz./60 g) mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tbs. agave nectar
  • 2 tsp. Djion mustard
  • 3/4 tsp. ground sumac

For the slaw:

  • 1 sweet onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/4 head purple cabbage, cored and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 head green cabbage, cored and thinly sliced
  • 3 carrots, peeled and julienned
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper


To make the pickled mustard seeds, in a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the mustard seeds, vinegar, water, sugar and salt. Bring to a bare simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the seeds are slightly softened, about 30 minutes. Set aside and let cool completely.

To make the dressing, in a large bowl, whisk together the sour cream, mayonnaise, vinegar, agave nectar, Dijon mustard, and sumac. Remove 1 Tbs. of the mustard seeds from the pickling liquid and stir the seeds into the dressing. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

In another large bowl, toss the onions with the salt and sugar. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 3 hours.

In a large serving bowl, toss together the onion mixture with any liquid in the bowl, the cabbages and carrots. Add the dressing and toss to coat. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper. Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate for up to 1 hour. Serves 6 to 8.

Sarah Simmons, chef/owner, City Grit culinary salon and Birds & Bubbles restaurant

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