Hill Country Coleslaw

Dr. O and I headed down to Texas Hill Country this year for the Fourth of July, and we went to this terrific lunch at Flat Creek Estate (a vineyard and winery). The food was amazing, and I was particularly impressed with the coleslaw and potato salad. After we returned to Dallas, I e-mailed the winery asking for the recipes. The potato salad was a family secret, but an employee was kind enough to send the coleslaw recipe: Hill Country Coleslaw from Anne Greer McCann, which actually had been printed in the Dallas Morning News.

To start, I prepped my ingredients. I sliced the kernels off of 3 ears of fresh corn, put the kernels in a colander, and then poured 2 cups of boiling water (boiled in my tea kettle) over the kernels to blanch them. While the corn cooled, I sliced 6 scallions, chopped 1 cup of cilantro leaves, and shredded 1 large carrot (1/2 cup).

To make things easy, I followed the recipe recommendation and used a 10-ounce package of shredded cabbage. I put the cabbage in a large bowl and added the cooled corn, scallions, 2 ounces of crumbled blue cheese, cilantro, and carrots. I seasoned with salt and pepper and tossed everything to combine.

Here’s where I deviated from the recipe a bit. The author says to refrigerate the mixture until you’re ready to serve the coleslaw and then toss the mixture with 1/2 cup of ranch dressing immediately before serving. Instead, I tossed the mixture with 1/2 cup of dressing immediately and then refrigerated the coleslaw for 30 minutes before serving to allow the flavors to blend.

This is seriously one of my new favorite summer sides. I remember when we first tasted it at the winery… It was subtly cheesy, but I couldn’t place the flavor. (Probably because the blue cheese was in tiny crumbles and the white color blends well with the rest of the slaw.) The veggie and sauce mixture is a bit non-traditional, for sure, but the flavor combination is just delicious. This is one time when I’m going to have to give “the Texas way” a big thumbs up.

TIPS: If fresh corn isn’t in season or if you don’t feel like dealing with it, I think frozen corn kernels (thawed, of course) would be a fine substitute.

Also, don’t worry if it seems like 1/2 cup of ranch dressing is barely enough to coat the vegetables. If you make the coleslaw the way I did and refrigerate it for a bit before serving, the vegetables release some of their moisture to create a bit more “sauce.” I just tossed the mixture again immediately before serving.

Recipe link: Hill Country Coleslaw

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