Preserving Cabbage: Salt-Lick-Style Freezer Cole Slaw

Four bags of freezer cole slaw

When I first moved back to Austin for grad school, one of the very first places I remember going to eat was called The Salt Lick. Located about 30 minutes outside of Austin, the Salt Lick promised country music and all-you-can-eat barbecue and sides. In other words, it was pretty magical. Having lived here for over a decade now, I’ve repeated the trip out to Driftwood, Texas more times than I can count.

But my favorite part about the Salt Lick isn’t even their barbecue—the sausage is pretty good, the brisket just ok, and the ribs are fairly hit or miss—it’s the cole slaw. I LOVE their cole slaw.

Which is kind of weird, because generally speaking, I hate cole slaw.

But the difference is that the Salt Lick’s cole slaw is vinegar based, instead of cream based, and has a great combination of sweet-salty-tangy-smoky flavors. It’s delicious. So when I started thinking about what to do with this year’s cabbage harvest, one of the first things I though of was Salt Lick cole slaw.

And as luck would have it, their recipe is online, courtesy of the Dallas Morning News.

Luckily, I had just harvested some cabbage from my garden last week. Trying this recipe out in my own kitchen, I found the vinegar mix they suggested a bit too heavy on the salt, so I’d recommend reducing that down a bit. I also love the way their cole slaw pairs with their mustard-based bbq sauce, so I added a tbsp of stone ground mustard to my dish as well.

But the very best part about this recipe? You can freeze it. Cabbage can stand up to freezing and thawing without losing its crunch, and since there isn’t any cream in this recipe, it freezes perfectly well in Ziploc bags.

Our two heads of cabbage from the garden this year = roughly 14 servings (assuming 1/2 cup servings) of the stuff. I’m looking forward to eating it all summer!

Cabbages from the garden to be turned into freezer cole slaw

To serve it, let it sit overnight in the fridge to thaw, flipping a couple times to let the vinegar mix marinate through all of it. Then, just strain the extra “juice” through a fine mesh strainer, and you’re ready to eat.

All in all, it’s a delicious and low-calorie side dish that’s perfect for summer. (Also – for my fellow Weight Watchers out there – it’s only 3 Smart Points per 1/2 cup serving!)