Serves 10 to 15

Coleslaw is controversial.Southerners have their own recipes and ways of cutting the cabbage. I prefer mine without mayonnaise but, of course, it may be added.

In this recipe, the cabbage wilts when the hot dressing is added. This slaw is delicious atop barbecue in a bun.

Ingredients

4 to 5 pounds cabbage

2 to 3 large Vidalia or salad onions, chopped

1 1/2 cups vegetable oil

1 cup apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

Sugar to taste, 1 tablespoon or more

Salt

Freshly ground pepper

Directions

Prepare cabbage as desired: shredded, chopped, sliced or grated. Toss the cabbage and onions together in a large bowl.

Bring the oil, vinegar, mustard and sugar to a boil in a saucepan. While still hot, pour the dressing over the cabbage and mix well. Taste and season with salt and pepper as desired. Chill, stirring from time to time.

Variation: Add chopped or grated carrots; add wedges of hard-boiled eggs; herbs, strips of ham, chicken or whatever suits your fancy. This works with spinach as well.

Nathalie Dupree, who lives in Charleston, is the former director of Rich's Cooking School in Atlanta and the author of eight cookbooks, including the recently published "Southern Biscuits." She may be reached at www.nathalie.com.