The Unexpected Ingredient Ina Garten Adds To Coleslaw

One of the reasons coleslaw is such a popular side dish is because it balances other flavors on the table. Coleslaw comes in many iterations, so pairing your coleslaw with a main dish can be great fun. A creamy, mayonnaise-based slaw might be perfect for balancing out grilled beef that's been marinated in a fiery gochujang-based ssamjang sauce. A tangy, vinegar-based slaw might be your go-to for brightening up the flavors of rich, barbecued baby back ribs served with creamy macaroni and cheese.

Of course, Ina Garten has a coleslaw recipe that pulls together the best of the vinegar-mayonnaise worlds. A combination of green and red cabbage makes the salad beautiful, along with carrots, Dijon mustard, whole grain mustard, a little celery salt, and plenty of fresh parsley, all rounded out by a little apple cider vinegar, and "good mayonnaise." Ina takes her coleslaw one step further, of course, and adds one unexpected ingredient that puts her side dish over the top.

Ina's choice of cheese pulls it all together

Garten's choice of cheese for her coleslaw might be polarizing: She uses crumbled Roquefort blue cheese, which gives the slaw a tangy, creamy, and pleasantly funky flavor. The Kitchn notes that Garten's recipe isn't shy about the blue cheese, pointing out, "You're gonna get a taste of blue cheese in every bite."

Using a food processor helps the Barefoot Contessa's coleslaw come together fairly quickly, and we picture this coleslaw recipe paired with grilled meat in a bourbon-chile barbecue sauce. The sweetness in the barbecue sauce — from brown sugar and peach preserves — sounds like the perfect foil for the pungent blue cheese flavor in the slaw. One note about the blue cheese: make sure you use fresh blue cheese that's been properly stored, as blue cheeses have a shorter shelf life than some other kinds of cheese due to the active mold cultures, according to Cooks Illustrated.