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Double-Crunch Kale Slaw

Updated: 10/2/23 2:00 pmPublished: 5/14/19
By Catherine Newman

Kale Apple Almond Cheddar SaladThis kale and apple salad is ideal for the time of year when prime salad season is almost over but fall produce is in full swing.

In this fall-friendly slaw, crunchy toasted almonds and crisp apples bring their best to a giant bowlful of lemony, garlicky kale. Even if the individual ingredients don’t sing to you, I implore you to just try it: When left uncooked, kale has all of the bright flavor of the green 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 irresistible, even to the skeptics. A note about preparation: Feel free to make this ahead of time, but leave out the apples and cheese until you’re ready to serve it.

Recipe Details: Double-Crunch Kale Slaw

Active time: 20 minutes

Total time: 20 minutes

Makes 8 servings

Total carbohydrates: 10 grams per serving


  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice (about the juice of one lemon)
  • 3/4 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 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), stemmed
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 cup sliced, slivered, or chopped raw almonds
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili flakes (optional, if you like a little bit of spice)
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 sweet apple, cored and diced

Kale Cheddar almond saladInstructions

  1. Put the lemon juice, salt, and garlic in a large bowl and set it aside.
  2. 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 tongs or preferably your hands if you can stand to. Add the 1/4 cup of olive oil and massage some more, until the kale is softer and shinier than it was.
  4. 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 2-3 minutes, until they are nice and golden.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.

Photo credits: 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 »