ZinesPG delivery
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Home Page
PG News: Nation and World, Region and State, Neighborhoods, Business, Sports, Health and Science, Magazine, Forum
Sports: Headlines, Steelers, Pirates, Penguins, Collegiate, Scholastic
Lifestyle: Columnists, Food, Homes, Restaurants, Gardening, Travel, SEEN, Consumer, Pets
Arts and Entertainment: Movies, TV, Music, Books, Crossword, Lottery
Photo Journal: Post-Gazette photos
AP Wire: News and sports from the Associated Press
Business: Business: Business and Technology News, Personal Business, Consumer, Interact, Stock Quotes, PG Benchmarks, PG on Wheels
Classifieds: Jobs, Real Estate, Automotive, Celebrations and other Post-Gazette Classifieds
Web Extras: Marketplace, Bridal, Headlines by Email, Postcards
Weather: AccuWeather Forecast, Conditions, National Weather, Almanac
Health & Science: Health, Science and Environment
Search: Search post-gazette.com by keyword or date
PG Store: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette merchandise
PG Delivery: Home Delivery, Back Copies, Mail Subscriptions
Food Bytes PG Cookbook The Food Chain
Kitchen Mailbox Countdown to Dinner Dining
Festive coleslaw delivers flavor, crunch in dried cranberry-studded side dish

Monday, December 27, 1999

Tested by Betsy Kline

Looking for a last-minute addition to a holiday buffet, maybe to accompany the New Year's ham or Christmas leftovers? This lovely and delicious Festive Coleslaw, courtesy of reader Ellen Lebow of Squirrel Hill, is a keeper. Full of color, flavor and lots of crunch, the salad is loaded with healthful vegetables and dried cranberries for a sweet-tart treat.

The dish is a "conglomeration of hints from friends," says Lebow, "adding my own things and subtracting others."

Some versions of Festive Coleslaw, she notes, add soy sauce, which she doesn't like, and toasted almonds, which she does -- but her kids don't. The recipe bends easily to individual tastes and kids with fussy palates.

Lebow, an optometrist whose part-time practice takes her to several Pittsburgh locations, is also the mother of three daughters, so her schedule really hops. Fast, quick and delicious is the strategy in her kitchen.

Her children -- Molly, 14, Katie, 12 and Bo, 10 -- are fussy eaters. Husband Larry Lebow "will try anything."

"We grill out a lot," says Ellen, and this coleslaw makes a nice accompaniment to many grilled dishes. "And it tastes better the longer it sits in the refrigerator. Sometimes I make a bowl of it for a salad.

"My husband laughs at me, but I shop every day ... I constantly replenish. We eat lots of fresh stuff -- I don't buy prepared foods."

Countdown to Dinner isn't Ellen Lebow's first brush with culinary fame. Her Roasted Butternut Squash Soup -- "it's simple, healthful and easy" she says -- was featured in Bon Appetit's "Best of" issue of January 1996.

"I clip a lot and modify a tremendous amount," explains Lebow. "I don't buy weird ingredients, like curry, because we don't like it, so I substitute something else." She notes her favorite add-ins for Festive Coleslaw at the end of the recipe.

Tester's note: Using pre-shredded bagged coleslaw mix, we put this recipe together in 7 minutes flat. As Ellen says, its flavor improves the longer it sits in the fridge, but it's tasty anytime.

Festive Coleslaw

1 1-pound bag of pre-shredded coleslaw mix (carrots and cabbage)
2 packages Ramen noodles (save the soup packet for another use)
1/2 cup raisins
6 tablespoons rice vinegar
1/2 cup oil
2 tablespoons sugar
Salt and pepper to taste

In a small bowl, whisk together the rice vinegar, oil, sugar, salt and pepper.

In a large plastic bowl with a lid, mix together coleslaw mix and raisins. Add the dressing to the slaw mix. Add the Ramen noodles, crunching them into smaller pieces with your hands. Mix together well. Cover and put in the refrigerator.

This can be served immediately but it tastes almost better if the ingredients macerate. Even in my abbreviated form it gets rave reviews.

Optional add-ins: Four sliced scallions. I don't use these because my husband doesn't like them but they do make the slaw more colorful. And 1/2 cup toasted slivered almonds. My children don't like nuts so I don't use them, but they make the slaw more colorful and add some crunch.

Makes 8 to 10 side-dish servings.

Do you have an entrée, salad or vegetable side dish recipe (no desserts, please!) that can be made in 30 minutes or less from six ingredients or fewer (not counting water, salt and pepper)? Share it with Countdown to Dinner.

The PG tests all recipes and if we select your recipe for publication, you'll receive a free selection from our cookbook grab bag of current releases.

Send your recipe to Countdown to Dinner, Post-Gazette Food, 34 Blvd. of the Allies, Pittsburgh, PA 15222, or fax to 412-263-1313. Please include your name, neighborhood and daytime phone number. Or e-mail to:nanderson@post-gazette.com Questions? Call 412-263-1760.

bottom navigation bar Terms of Use  Privacy Policy