Judy McCormick’s Pepper Slaw

She’s not my grandma, but she is the grandmother of my kids, and that qualifies her to contribute a featured recipe to my blog.  Judy – the kids call her Bammy J – is my husband’s mother.  Her recipe for pepper slaw (or pepper cabbage) is perfect. The finished product reminds me of the version made by both my grandmothers. 

You really can’t make this without a food processor. If you’re looking for an excuse to dig waaay back into that cupboard – you know the one – and dust off your Cuisinart, this is surely the one.

This is a sweet-and-sour slaw, not a creamy slaw. The recipe makes a huge batch, but don’t worry – it “keeps” in the ‘fridge for days and days.

(Note: for an account of my experience actually making it one Saturday morning, click here.)


1 small head of cabbage (as if there is any such thing – aren’t they all at least 3 pounds?)

1 small onion

1 carrot (or a handful of baby-cut carrots)

1 green bell pepper

1/2 cup cider vinegar

1/2 cup water

1.5 cups granulated sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon celery seed (not salt – SEED.)

1 teaspoon mustard seed (has to be seed!)


Make the dressing first: Place vinegar, water and sugar in a saucepan and heat until boiling, stirring to make sure sugar dissolves. (Or, place in a microwave bowl and cook about 3 minutes, stirring every minute or two to dissolve the sugar.)  Set aside to cool.

Commence to choppin’: Cut the onion into chunks, toss into your food processor, and pulse several times until finely-chopped. Remove and place into a large bowl. Do the same thing with the green pepper, and then the carrot. (Or get crazy and do the carrot first, then the green pepper, then the onion. It doesn’t matter. Just so you do them separately.)

finely-chopped onion, green bell pepper and carrot
finely-chopped onion, green bell pepper and carrot

Remove the first few outer leaves of the cabbage so that the lighter-colored ones remain. Cut the cabbage into chunks and discard the hardest part at the base. Fill your food processor about half-full with the cabbage, then pulse maybe 6-8 times until it is very finely shredded. (This is not a stringy, sliced slaw, it’s an extremely finely chopped one.) Remove to the bowl, then repeat until all the cabbage is finely chopped. (Fish out any larger pieces and rechop or discard or just munch on ’em. They’re tasty.)

finely chopped cabbage.
finely chopped cabbage.

Mixing it up: Now that all your veggies are finely chopped and in the bowl, add the salt, mustard seed and celery seed.  Then pour the cooled dressing over top and stir and stir and stir some more until the veggies, spices and dressing are thoroughly mixed.  Refrigerate for at least a couple of hours to allow flavors to blend. Stir before serving.

It's Pepper Slaw!
It's Pepper Slaw!

MAKES: Enough to feed your entire neighborhood, a congregation of Methodists, all your relatives (even your funny uncle), a college football team and all the coaches, or a whole bunch of mourners.