Recipe Review

This Crunchy, Punchy Coleslaw Has a Sweet Surprise

published Aug 3, 2022
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Credit: Photo: Julia Gartland; Food Stylist: Jessie YuChen

When I was searching for recipes to include in our coleslaw recipe showdown, I wanted to include one recipe that went decidedly light on the mayo. Coleslaw without mayonnaise is an entirely different category, but one that opts for a little bit less than its counterparts could be a worthwhile inclusion, which is how I found myself making this apple and poppyseed version from Damn Delicious. Does the ideal coleslaw really need a generous amount of mayo, or does it benefit the salad to use a bit less? Was grated apple the coleslaw addition I’d been missing? There was only one way to find out. Here’s how it went.

Get the recipe: Damn Delicious’ Apple & Poppy Seed Coleslaw

Credit: Photo: Julia Gartland; Food Stylist: Jessie YuChen

How to Make Damn Delicious’ Apple & Poppy Seed Coleslaw

To start, mix grated green and red cabbage in a large bowl with shredded carrot and julienned Granny Smith apples. Separately, make the dressing by whisking mayo, olive oil, poppy seeds, vinegar, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Drizzle the dressing over the slaw and let it sit, covered in the refrigerator, for at least an hour.

Credit: Photo: Julia Gartland; Food Stylist: Jessie YuChen

My Honest Review of Damn Delicious’ Apple & Poppy Seed Coleslaw

This slaw was delicious. I loved the crispy, julienned apples — they gave every bite a refreshing, subtly sweet note that I really enjoyed. I didn’t feel like the poppy seeds added anything terribly groundbreaking in the flavor department (honestly, what do poppy seeds even taste like, anyway?) but I thought they looked nice.

As far as the amount of mayonnaise, I will admit that a mere two tablespoons went a pretty long way. I think it probably could’ve used one or two tablespoons more (which would bring it to a still scant 1/4 cup), but all in all I had no problem with the dressing. Keep in mind, some of the other slaws in this recipe showdown called for nearly 2 cups of mayo for a comparable amount of shredded veggies. That’s a pretty significant difference.

If you’re looking for a classic slaw to complement your summertime grilling, I would caution that this one is slightly different from what you might be used to. It’s much lighter on the mayo and I found the slaw to be much crunchier and more acidic, even after it sat in the fridge for a little. If you’re looking for a creamy, softened slaw, this might not be the one for you. But if you want a punchy, slightly sweet slaw with a highly acidic dressing, this is a solid option.

If I Made Damn Delicious’ Apple & Poppy Seed Coleslaw Again

Okay, admittedly I would probably add an extra spoonful or so of mayonnaise to this. However, I really appreciated the tangy, acidic dressing and I think it’s helpful to know that coleslaw is still really delicious without a ton of added fat. I will most definitely be julienning apples into any future coleslaw of mine, as well.

Overall rating: 9/10