To make a basic coleslaw, combine mayonnaise, lemon juice, sugar and salt, and then mix this with shredded cabbage in a nonreactive bowl. Allow the mixture to marinate in the refrigerator for at least an hour for the flavors to meld and the cabbage to soften.
Start by cutting a head of cabbage into thin shreds, making sure to exclude the cabbage core. Other traditional vegetables to include are purple cabbage and carrots, also thinly shredded. For less work, use a bag of pre-shredded coleslaw mix.
For each pound of coleslaw mix, first combine 1 cup of mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, 2 tablespoons of sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt in a large plastic or nonreactive metal bowl or container. Once the dressing is blended, add the coleslaw mix, and toss well until fully mixed. Cover the container, and place it in the refrigerator for at least an hour to serve chilled or serve at room temperature.
Other ingredients to include in the dressing are white wine or apple cider vinegar instead of lemon juice, Dijon mustard, and sour cream or milk to add creaminess. Other seasonings to include are black pepper and celery or caraway seeds. Other vegetable ingredients to include are green or red onion.