Creamy Kale Slaw

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Almost invariably whenever I start doing anything in the kitchen, this happens:


This is one of our three cats, Hannes. Aside from his regular diet of cat food, he enjoys snacking on Swedish meatballs, shrimp, fish and Norwegian brown goat cheese (this is one of the reasons we gave him a Scandinavian name). He also loves keeping me company in the kitchen.

This has no relation to today's recipe, aside from the fact that throughout me making it, Hannes would do his usual jumps on and off the counter, sniffing and touching things with his paw (he's very curious), then rubbing against my leg and asking to taste Greek yogurt, which after a few licks he thought was way too sour.


A good slaw doesn't need much. I like mine well-seasoned, not too sweet and not too salty, slightly tangy, creamy, and a bit crunchy. So I've set out to make one with kale. In this recipe, kale together with julienned carrots and daikon radish supply a crunchy texture similar to the crunchiness of cabbage in regular coleslaw. And even though Hannes thought Greek yogurt was too sour for his palate, it supplies a nice tang for this slaw.


It is perhaps easier to shred cabbage than kale. Flat-leaf kale works better (although the recipe here calls for both, flat-leaf and curly, you can use whichever you prefer). Whenever working with raw kale, the tough middle stem should be removed since it is very fibrous. To shred the kale for the slaw, I've sliced off half the leaf on either side of the stem. I discarded the stem, and cut the leaves into thirds, cross-wise. I then simply stacked the slices together and cut them thinly lengthwise into shreds.


Whenever I use kale in salads, I usually give it a good rub with salt to soften it. Raw kale is very chewy and can be bitter. In this recipe I used a mixture of salt and sugar to massage the leaves to make them more tender and to cut out the bitterness. I basically just crunched the shredded kale with my hands, similar to what I did in this recipe for kale slaw and cherry tomatoes (with pictures). Afterwards, I added a bit of vinegar and let it stand for about 15 minutes before adding the remaining ingredients.


This salad has everything, some crunch, some saltiness, some sweetness, some tanginess and it is also creamy, but not too much. Since kale is so fibrous, this is quite filling after just a small portion, making it a great lunch.

Creamy Kale Slaw
(Serves 6)

3 cups (75 g) shredded lacinato (dinosaur) kale
3 cups (75 g) shredded red (or other curly leaf) kale
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
1 tbsp vinegar
1 cup (70 g) carrots, peeled and julienned (about 2 medium)
1 cup (70 g) daikon radish, peeled and julienned (about 1/2 of large)
1/4 red onion, julienned
1 1/2 tbsp flat leaf parsley
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
2 tbsp mayonnaise
ground black pepper to taste

1. Combine lacinato and curly leaf kale in a large bowl. Add salt and sugar and crunch the leaves with your hands until the leaves become very moist and the salt and sugar crystals are absorbed. Add vinegar, toss, and let stand 15 minutes for the kale to soften.
2. Add carrots, daikon radish, onion and parsley to the kale and toss. In a small bowl or measuring cup combine Greek yogurt, mayonnaise and pepper. Add to the vegetables and mix well to combine. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour before serving.


  1. You know, I´ve never tried kale. It´s not common here, though it can be found. I will make it my mission to try it, I´m so intriguided by it! It sounds weird yet there are recipes everywhere. And I´m trying to decide if it´s time (and if I have the space) for another dog. But have been seriously considering a cat! I like the dressing of this salad, should work with cabbage too.

  2. yep, there's no love between cats and yoghurt :)
    Never tried to eat kale raw, but I like the idea. Love how you cut veggies julienne for the salad, looks lovely, my dear.

  3. Paula, the dressing should be great for cabbage too. Good luck if you decide to adopt a dog or a kitty (although I'm clearly biased towards the latter)!

  4. All my 3 cats LOVE yoghurt! Meow Hannes ;-)
    And the salad looks right up my alley....crunchy, salty, sweet, tangy...a flavour party!

  5. Hannes is adorable - I want to reach through the screen and pet his sweet face. + What a fun slaw - kale seems a great cabbage alternative...

  6. This looks great! I love lacinato kale in particular (though I love all kale). Glad I found your blog--I've traveled to Russia, Ukraine, and also Scandinavia so I think I'll enjoy it here!

  7. First of all, I love Hannes! Secondly, thanks for this recipe and the photo tutorial. I see kale at the Framers' Market every week, but usually have no idea what to do with it. This looks like a fresh, simple preparation.

  8. I'm not a big fan of slaw but this looks good :) Btw your cat is so cute and love the name ;)

  9. This looks delicious! I'm glad I saw your comment on Three Clever Sisters. Now I have another blog to follow. :)

  10. your cat is beautiful! and i love his name! cute anecdote with the greek yogurt haha

  11. Oh how do I know about curious cats. We got 4 cats and they always follow me whenever I go to the kitchen :)))

    Kale Slaw by the way, is that the same as COLESLAW salad? Or is my spelling mistake. I learned it from school and read from some menu when I was a kid.

  12. Psychelyn: your spelling is right. And now that I think about it it does sound confusing! Coleslaw came from a Dutch name for a cabbage salad (cabbage in Dutch is "kool"). Kale slaw is essentially the same thing except kale is used instead of cabbage.

  13. Oh, I got it. I thought that it might be like that cause salad seems the same :) Thanks for the info.

  14. Hannes is a cutie patootie! Then again, you already know that, heh heh.



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