The Painter’s Palette Coleslaw


When I was in high school, I took more art classes than physics classes, which in retrospect is odd considering my college years (turn back now, Jessie!). I think (hope) my high school still has the chair my classmates and I painted in the style of my favorite artist, Georgia O’Keeffe. That was the peak of my artistic endeavors, folks.


The school’s top floor art studio was perfection: A circle of generous-sized desks surrounded by rusty bicycles, potted plants, broken busts – any kind of drawing subject you could ever think of – all under a sky-high loft ceiling. Propped against one of the narrow windows was a print of a painting with bright oranges tumbled across purple silk. Whenever I worked in the studio, I found my eye irresistibly drawn to it.

Bold. Subtle. Two opposites that work well together, like purple and orange.

The color combination was a revelation. The first class I saw it, I painted mountains of orange and blue.


Years later, I tried to find the painting. Searching the Internet for “purple and orange painting” doesn’t give you much, as you might expect. There’s way too much out there in cyberspace (including an inexplicable excess of nail polish colors). So, my search continues.

In the meantime, the colors of that painting reminded me of the colors of this coleslaw (I’d say “inspired”, but the moment was more like “hey, this coleslaw kind of looks like that painting I adored, so let me give it an ambiguous-yet-deep-sounding name”).


I devoured this coleslaw on its own, but it would work well as a layer of crunch on a sandwich or burger, or layered with fish or tofu in a taco.

And if you ever find a painting of oranges on purple silk … let me know.

The Painter’s Palette Cabbage & Carrot Coleslaw

  Prep Time: 15 minutes

  Keywords: raw salad side vegetarian


  • 1 small head purple cabbage, finely shredded
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and shredded
  • 1/3 cup plain nonfat yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons pickle relish
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted


In a large bowl, toss together shredded cabbage and carrots. Combine remaining ingredients (except for almonds) in a small bowl. Toss dressing with vegetables. Serve cold or room temperature and top with toasted almonds.

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P.S. Bonus pic! You guys know the drill.

cole of the slaw SF


  1. My wedding colors!

    I miss the art studio….and the weaving room below it!

  2. The colors in your coleslaw are definitely beautiful so I imagine that painting must be as well! I’ll keep an eye out. 😛

  3. OH I wish I could find that painting for you! Isn’t it amazing how easy it is to find things on the web…and yet there is still so much that remains unfindable? This coleslaw looks delicious Jessie. Thank you for sharing such a beautiful (and certainly delicious) side.

  4. Coleslaw is one of those things that, once I start, I find hard to stop eating. This looks so vibrant and energizing! 🙂 I hope you still have time to enjoy art!

  5. I just had a conversation yesterday with a student about how I used to hate coleslaw, but now I LOVE it. Great recipe JEssie (And seeing those little samples makes me sort of miss my old job….sad 🙁 )

  6. I took more art classes especially IB Art in high school. Art is one of my favorite subjects, but my parents loathe me for spending so much time on Art. What a sweet name for your coleslaw! 🙂

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