This weekend is the official kickoff of picnic season! I’m so ready for windy morning hikes and hot afternoons by the creek. But be honest with me… are potluck picnics just hopelessly uncool now? Because I still love them. First of all, it’s time with friends but also all about food, and secondly, potlucks tend to sprawl into long, all-afternoon parties. Maybe because we’re playing volleyball or cards, maybe because there’s always too much dessert.
This kale slaw salad stays nice and crunchy hours after adding the dressing, perfect for picnicking! Kale and red cabbage gives lots of crunch and radish adds a good spicy bite.
I first threw this together as a slaw for stuffing tacos, but enough people raved about it as a stand-alone salad that I had to remake it. It can hold its own as a main salad, even better topped with grilled chicken; as a side for backyard barbeques (hello, every summer picnic); or back to its roots as taco slaw.
The mexican-ish flavored dressing is just enough to coat the whole salad without getting soggy – and it definitely does not have mayonnaise. Mayo has its place in dips but never in anything called a salad, despite what the Midwest will tell you.
Prep time takes a while thanks to chopping, slicing, and mincing a ton of veggies, but it makes a giant bowl for sharing. You can easily cut it in half, but I figure if I’m already chopping away I might as well make enough for the full week.
- 1 bunch kale, shredded & stems removed
- pinch of salt
- ½ head red cabbage, thinly sliced
- 1 lb. radishes, thinly sliced
- 1 bunch green onions, sliced
- 2 jalapeños, minced
- ½ cup cilantro, chopped
- ½ cup cotija cheese, crumbled
- ¼ cup crema fresca
- 2 chipotle peppers in adobo
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 T. lime juice
- ½ t. cumin
- 1 t. salt
- Place the kale in a large bowl and sprinkle salt over the kale. Massage the salt into the kale until the kale breaks down and softens, about a minute.
- Add the remaining slaw ingredients to the softened kale. Set the bowl aside.
- Pulse all the dressing ingredients in a food processor until smooth.
- Pour the dressing over the kale slaw and toss to thoroughly coat the salad.
- Let the slaw rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes and up to 24 hours to let the dressing flavors marry and soften the kale.