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Double-Crunch Kale Slaw

Updated: 8/14/21 2:00 amPublished: 5/14/19
By Catherine Newman

By Catherine Newman

Makes: 8 servings

Total carbohydrates: 10 grams per serving

Hands-on time: 20 minutes

Total time: 20 minutes

Toasted almonds and crisp apples bring their best, crunchy selves to a giant bowlful of lemony, garlicky, toothsome kale. Just try it, even if the individual ingredients don’t sing to you. Because, while I know I’m at risk of overhyping the joy of raw kale, it’s hard for me to stop. Uncooked, kale has all of the bright green flavor of the smell of a freshly mown lawn, and none of the, well, cookedness of cooked kale. And once you add mounds of delicious ingredients – hello, cheddar cheese! – it becomes almost irresistible, even to the skeptics. Feel free to make this ahead of time, but just leave out the apples and cheese until you’re ready to serve it.


2 tablespoons lemon juice (about the juice of one lemon)

¾ teaspoon kosher salt (or half as much table salt)

1 clove of garlic, peeled, smashed and finely minced or put through a garlic press

1 healthy bunch of very fresh kale (ideally the lacinato or dinosaur variety, which is sweeter and has a better texture here, but any kind is good)

¼ cup olive oil (+ 1 tablespoon for frying the almonds)

½ cup sliced, slivered, or chopped raw almonds

¼ teaspoon chili flakes (if you like a little bit of spice)

1 cup grated cheddar cheese

1 sweet apple, cored and diced


1. Put the lemon juice, salt, and garlic in a large bowl and set it aside.

2. Wash and dry the kale. Now pull the ruffly leaves off the kale's stems, and discard the stems (or cook/eat/pickle them). Stack and bunch the leaves together, then use a large, very sharp knife to sliver them. You should have 6-8 cups.

3. Put the slivered kale in the bowl with the lemon, salt, and garlic. Massage well, using your hands if you can stand to, or use tongs. Add the ¼ cup of olive oil and massage some more, until the kale is softer and shinier than it was.

4. Now heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in a small pan over medium-low heat and fry the almonds with a pinch of salt, turning them with a spatula for 2 or 3 minutes, until they are nice and golden. Turn off the heat, add the chili flakes, and immediately dump the contents of the pan into the kale, which will sizzle and hiss. Mix well.

5. Add the cheese and apples and mix well again, then taste the salad. If it needs more salt or lemon, add it. Serve within an hour.

About Catherine

Catherine loves to write about food and feeding people. In addition to her recipe and parenting blog Ben & Birdy (which has about 15,000 weekly readers), she edits the ChopChop series of mission-driven cooking magazines. This kids’ cooking magazine won the James Beard Publication of the Year award in 2013 – the first non-profit ever to win it – and a Parents’ Choice Gold Award. She also helped develop Sprout, a WIC version of the magazine for families enrolled in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), as well as Seasoned, their senior version. They distribute over a million magazines annually, through paid subscriptions, doctor’s offices, schools, and hospitals. Their mission started with obesity as its explicit focus – and has shifted, over the years, to a more holistic one, with health, happiness, and real food at its core. That’s the same vibe Catherine brings to the diaTribe column.

[Photo Credit: Catherine Newman]

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About the authors

Catherine loves to write about food and feeding people. In addition to her recipe and parenting blog Ben & Birdy (which has about 15,000 weekly readers), she edits the ChopChop... Read the full bio »