Saturday, February 18, 2012

Recipe: Dr. Dick's Kale Slaw Recipe

Another cross-over from my dianadyer blog posted up 9.10.2008. I had a camera by that point, but I was not yet in the habit of taking photos before eating. The first pass on this salad was eaten in its entirety before a photo was thought of! That should give you an idea of how good it is. :) This salad, or some variation, has now been made many times, taken to numerous potlucks, always with rave reviews. :)

Dr. Dick’s Kale Slaw

While working in the garden in late July 2008, I broke off a piece of a kale leaf and was munching on it as I watered tomatoes and harvested onions. Pretty tasty, I thought and then the idea came to me. Maybe raw kale would make a great slaw. After all, most American slaws are made with cabbage, which is a member of the same Brassica family of plants, so why not give it a try. An internet search confirmed that no great idea is unique and, in fact, the term “kale slaw” turned up lots of links but few recipes. So, here is what I came up with, and it turned out to be pretty tasty. The basic recipe is adapted from another for Texas Cole Slaw in our 1971 edition of The New York Times Natural Foods Cookbook by Jean Hewitt.

Fresh kale leaves sufficient to prepare 4 cups diced kale
1 green or red pepper, diced
1 large carrot, shredded
1 onion, diced (sweet onions are better than yellow onions for this)
4 cloves garlic, pressed

1/3 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons white vinegar
¼ cup water
¼ cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed

Prep is easy. Harvest fresh kale leaves the day you prepare the slaw. Wash the leaves and shake them dry. You may trim the stems but I leave them in. With a sharp knife dice the leaves until you have pieces the size you would enjoy in your slaw. Combine and mix the kale, pepper, carrot, onion and pressed garlic in a ceramic bowl. You may want to reserve a small piece of carrot to put through the garlic press after the garlic to get as much of the garlic as possible through the press. In a small food processor (preferred) or bowl, mix the remaining ingredients thoroughly to dissolve the brown sugar and emulsify the oil with the remaining liquids. Pour this dressing over the mixed veggies and let the mix marinate in the refrigerator for at least a few hours. Very crunchy and tasty!

Options I want to try: The recipe above is exactly what I prepared on my first try and it was good. Alternatives might include adding a teaspoon of fennel or dill seeds, some dry mustard, or a diced jalapeno pepper. It might be nice to include cucumber, celery or other crunchy vegetables or an apple. Perhaps curry powder and raisins.

Sorry to admit this yummy salad got eaten completely before a photo was taken.


Where kale is more than decoration on my plate!


Diana Dyer, MS, RD

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