Inspired by the flavours of Italy, this coleslaw with Italian dressing is a simple twist on a classic slaw and perfect for a summer cookout.
I’ve always been a huge fan of coleslaw–that is if it doesn’t include mayo. I’ve always preferred a vinegar-based, tangy slaw and this Italian coleslaw fits the bill perfectly.
I love a classic Italian salad dressing; my version uses dried basil as it has a strong flavour that stands up well to the vinaigrette.
There are many things I love about coleslaw but what I love the most is that it gets better after sitting in the fridge overnight. It’s the perfect dish to prep ahead of time if you have people coming over.
I love to eat coleslaw on its own as a side, but it would also be pretty delicious served on a pulled pork sandwich.
How do you make a vinegar-based salad dressing for coleslaw?
This recipe is based off of one that my great grandmother used to make–I have her handwritten recipe! She made a coleslaw with a boiled dressing, which is the method I’ve always used when making coleslaw. For this dressing I added some garlic and dried basil.
Based one some research, this seems to be the way that coleslaw was traditionally made, and I can see why. The dressing ends up tangy with just enough sweetness and it helps to break down the sturdy cabbage.
Canadian Living has another old-school style coleslaw recipe, on their site using the same boiled dressing method that sounds delicious!
I like to use a combination of red and green cabbage in my coleslaw, simply because it’s prettier to look at, but this salad works with whichever variety you have on hand.
Coleslaw with Italian Dressing
- 1 whole cabbage, shredded
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/3 cup cider vinegar
- 3 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1/2 tsp salt
- black pepper to taste
- In a saucepan, bring olive oil, cider vinegar, sugar, garlic, basil, salt and pepper to a boil. Boil for 30 seconds and remove from heat. Allow to cool slightly.
- Pour warm dressing over cabbage, and toss to coat. Allow to stand until salad is cool. When cooled, cover and place in refrigerator to chill. When ready to serve, stir to mix cabbage.