In the dog days of summer we often resort to visiting the salad counter at our favorite grocery store… we pick out an assortment and call it dinner. It’s a great dinner, one of our favorites, as a matter of fact. And one of our staples is Kale Slaw. It’s the salad that won me over to kale, a vegetable that I’ve systematically avoided for years. I think the key is that the kale is finely shredded, so it’s tender. The Asian inspired lemon/sesame dressing has something to do with it, too. It’s slightly sweet which counters the bitterness in the greens. And then there’s the perfect chewy/crunchy accent of the sunflower seeds. The whole thing is minimal, but strikes the perfect Zen balance. I rarely make anything twice, much to the disappointment of my family, but I’ve been tossing this together once a week all summer.
Kale is incredibly healthy, so I’m so happy to finally have a reason to buy it. It’s not a lettuce, but a vegetable in the super nutritious broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussel’s sprout family. Up until now, I’ve mostly had it cooked, in soups or stews, but I think I like it raw best. Thanks to this Kale Slaw I now have a reason to put kale in my grocery cart every week. I feel so virtuous :)
The last time we bought this slaw we were going to try to remember to keep the container with the ingredients printed on the label, but we forgot. All we came up with was sunflower seeds and lemon. It was a good start. I filled in the gaps pretty easily. A little carrot for sweetness, radicchio for color and to echo the bitterness of the kale. Definitely honey in the dressing to balance all that lovely bitterness. I used sesame oil which gives the dressing a real punch. It’s kind of a health food/Asian fusion salad, and it’s VERY good.
Kale Slaw is one of those rare salads that you can throw together in the morning and it will still be crisp and fresh at dinnertime because kale is such a sturdy green. I love it because it’s the perfect fresh accent to anything you’re serving. It’s ideal for picnics or outdoor entertaining, too, because it won’t wilt, and there’s no mayo to spoil.
- 1 bunch kale
- 1 carrot,
- 1/2 small head of radicchio (substitute red cabbage)
- 1/3 cup sunflower seeds
- feta or goat cheese for garnish (optional)
- 1/8 cup sesame oil
- juice of 2 small lemons
- 1 Tbsp honey
- 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
- salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
- Rinse the kale and then remove any large center ribs. Stack the leaves and, with a sharp knife, cut them into fine shreds. Peel the carrot and shred it. Remove the outer leaves from the radicchio and then finely shred that as well. Put all in a bowl.
- Make the dressing by mixing all the ingredients together in a mason jar or small bowl Shake or whisk well to combine. Taste to adjust any of the ingredients.
- Pour the dressing over the salad. Use enough to moisten everything, but not soak it Let the salad sit for an hour or two in the fridge if you like, before serving. Toss with the sunflower seeds just before eating, and top with the cheese, if using.