Posted by: Erica Retrochef | August 18, 2014

Ribbon Slaw

Fun food safety fact: Mayonnaise isn’t dangerous if left unrefrigerated. Made with pasteurized eggs, vinegar, and lemon juice, it’s not a bacteria-friendly environment. Which means you can safely enjoy this “new idea for coleslaw” brought to you by 1960’s Miracle Whip, even at a sweltering August picnic!


Toss purple cabbage with radish and stuffed green olive slices and Miracle Whip; layer this with green cabbage tossed with cucumber slices, kidney beans, Miracle Whip.


This collection of vegetables is… unusual. (And I’m realizing I totally forgot the Miracle Whip in this picture. Ironic.)


I’ve never had kidney beans in a coleslaw.


Or radishes or olives, come to think of it.


The lack of measurements is both stressful (how much do I use?!?) and freeing (however much I want!!!)… I went with “heaping spoonfuls until everything is lightly coated.”


I was quite surprised to find this not just edible, but pleasant. The Miracle Whip wasn’t overwhelmingly sweet (I generally hate the “tangy zip,” but it worked in this). The non-cabbage bits added pleasant flavor contrast, although the beans weren’t terribly popular. It’s pretty easy to make and could be a really great side at your next barbecue. Just use small cabbages: this can make a lot of slaw!

Found in the pages of Ebony Magazine in 1964, now archived on Google.



  1. I must ever so gently point out, Miracle Whip is NOT mayonnaise.

    • Agreed- but most commercial mayonnaises are so processed and stabilized that they are nearly the same thing.

    • That’s mostly a food regulation issue dealing with the percentage of egg or oil (or something like that) — the fundamental makeup is the same, but Miracle Whip has additional stuff (like extra sugar and spices).

  2. Hm. When I was a kid, we were always warned NOT to eat cabbage and beans together in the same dish, because …toots. (Mind, this didn’t stop people from bringing baked beans and coleslaw to the same picnic, but Mom always warned us…) I’m surprised they’re in the same dish, but what really would have done my head in is the olives with the kidney beans. That seems so wrong! And yet – salad is one of those things that simply works if you shove everything in and add enough dressing.

  3. …lost me with cold red beans in the slaw. I may do this with a different bean, garbanzos are good in a salad or slaw.

    Does anyone else think MW changed?

    I grew up eating MW. It was the spread of choice in our house. When I got married, we kept both, one pt Dukes Mayo and one pt MW, because it’s what we’d each grown up eating.

    At some point in the 90’s, they changed the MW recipe I think. I actually took back two jars, got a refund, went to a different grocery chain [thinking that ‘X Foods’ had a weird batch] but it was all peculiar tasting.

    Since then, I’ve bought a couple of those little peanut sized, picnic jars, sadly, it’s still weird to me.

    IF you want really good mayo, that is not going to kill you in a picnic salad, make a batch of Alton Brown’s mayo.

  4. Homemade mayo all the way, with pasteurized eggs if you’re nervous about raw eggs (I’m not). Bacon grease as the oil, especially if you’re not refrigerating it — fantastic, and I’m told it makes for a great BLT.

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