Buttermilk Blue Cheese Coleslaw with Jalapeno and Cilantro
Coleslaw, for me, was never that exciting. Sometimes goopy. Sometimes bland. Sometimes downright questionable on how long it’s been sitting out and therefore easily passed over. I mean is that just me? I don’t think I can ever recall someone saying, “Oh good you brought coleslaw.” But I wanted to change that and give this simple side dish a chance in the limelight.
So for this Labor Day, to go alongside my slow cooked ribs, I set out to make a coleslaw that has some real bold flavors to it as well as crunch – one that can stand out on it’s own and not live in the shadows of the more enticing dishes. Okay honestly it’s hard to beat the lure of the ribs but I think we did a solid job in terms of a side dish. The flavors came through but weren’t overpowering. The cabbage wasn’t overdressed or goopy. The little punch from the jalapeno and cilantro gave it a brighter flavor. Overall a solid slaw.
Use a creamy, good quality blue cheese so that it blends into the dressing. I found some Oregon Blue on sale at my grocery store but another one that I love is Point Reyes. Try this version of coleslaw at your next family picnic and don’t be afraid to mix it up and make it yours.
Ingredients -Buttermilk Blue Cheese Coleslaw
Step by Step
Make the blue cheese dressing
This is a no cook recipe so it’s quick and easy. You can make the blue cheese buttermilk dressing a day head to space out some of the prep work and save some time if entertaining. The key though is not dress your coleslaw too far in advance. The cabbage starts to break down and the milk products (sour cream and mayo and buttermilk) will start to get watery. So keep the dressing and the cabbage separate until about an hour before serving.
Start with one large clove of garlic peeled.
Then roughly chop the chives. You are going to add them to the food processor so it doesn’t need to be perfect.
Add to food processor and give it a few pulses to chop before adding the other ingredients.
Add in the mayonnaise
And then the sour cream.
Crumble up that creamy blue cheese. You can save some extra for the top as a garnish if you really like that blue cheese flavor.
Combine until silky smooth.
Set aside and cover and refrigerate if made ahead.
Chop the Cabbage
I like to use both purple and green cabbage for contrast but you could easily use all one or the other. With green cabbage there are different kinds – regular green cabbage is available in any grocery store but if you can find Napa cabbage it’s more delicate in texture and, in my opinion, makes a nicer coleslaw.
I only used a half a head of each in this recipe and that made a good sized batch that served six with leftovers at my Labor Day BBQ. So if you think you’ll use the other half for another dish then go ahead and buy the whole head of each but if not you can ask your grocer for a half a head. Sometimes they will cut them in half and sell them that way. Or, just find a really small head.
Start by peeling away and outside layers that aren’t crisp or look a little wilted then cut the stem from the cabbage head and slice in half.
Carefully cut away that tough inner core before you chop.
At this point you can either shred in a food processor with the grate attachment or just cut into slices by hand.
Then run your knife several times through the slices until you have finely chopped cabbage.
Do the same with the green (Napa) cabbage.
Core the Napa cabbage
Add both cabbages to a large bowl.
Dress the cabbage with the blue cheese buttermilk dressing. *Remember not too far ahead to preserve the crunch.
Time to add in the final touches. Cilantro.
And jalapeno. You can leave in thin slices or chop more finely. If your family likes spice then leave in large pieces but if you are trying to sneak a little spice in there then more finely diced will work better. Don’t forget to check one final time for seasoing.
Serve and top with more cilantro, jalapeno and blue cheese if desired.
- 1/2 head purple cabbage
- 1/2 head Napa cabbage (or green cabbage)
- 1 large clove garlic
- 1/4 cup chopped chives
- 14 cup sour cream
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup buttermilk
- 1/4 cup blue cheese (Oregon Blue or Gorgonzola recommended - something creamy)
- 1 jalapeno
- 1/2 cup cilantro
- 3/4 teaspoons sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- In the bowl of a food processor add in the clove of garlic and the roughly chopped chives. Give them a few pulses. Then add in the mayo, sour cream, buttermilk and blue cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Blend to combine until smooth.
- Peel off any limp leaves from the cabbage heads. Remove the stems and cut the head in half. Slice the cabbage and then give the slices a good chop. Alternately you can use a food processor with the grating attachment.
- Place the chopped cabbages in a large bowl and toss with the blue cheese buttermilk dressing about an hour before serving. Slice or chop the jalapeno. Adjust to your level of heat tolerance. I used 1 whole jalapeno but mine wasn't that spicy. The heat level can vary so a little at a time and you can add more. Toss in the chopped cilantro and taste for seasoning.