Kale Slaw with Curried Almond Dressing

By Chef: Dreena Burton
Posted: July 24, 2012


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A nutrient rich display of fresh kale, fennel, grated carrot, julienned apple, cranberries, and raisins dressed with a tangy/sweet creamy curry salad dressing complete with apple cider vinegar, a touch of maple syrup, garlic, ginger, dijon mustard and authentic curry powder. You wont want to skimp on this dressing, it is so delicious!


For the Slaw:

  • 1 small to medium-size apple, cored and julienned (3⁄4 to 1 cup), tossed in 1tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 1/2 – 3 cups julienned kale (leaves cut/torn from stems and stems discarded) (see note)
  • 1 1/2 cups grated carrot
  • 1 cup very thinly sliced or julienned fennel
  • 1/4 cup cranberries or raisins
  • 2/3 – 3/4 cup Creamy Curried Almond Dressing (or more, if desired; recipe follows)

Creamy Curried Almond Dressing:

  • 2 to 4 tbsps sliced or chopped raw almonds
  • Extra salt and pepper to taste

For the Curried Almond Dressing:

  • 1⁄2 cup raw almonds
  • 2 1/2 tbsps apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsps pure maple syrup or agave nectar
  • 2/3 cup  water (or more to thin as needed; see note)
  • 1 very small clove garlic
  • 1 tsp freshly grated ginger
  • 1⁄2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1⁄2 tsp sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper (optional)
  • 1⁄8 tsp curry powder, or more to taste (see note)



1) Place the apple, vegetables, and cranberries in a bowl and toss. Add the dressing, starting with about 2⁄3 cup and adding more as desired, if you want a thicker coating of dressing.

2) Toss to coat well, then let sit for 5 minutes or more to allow the kale leaves to soften slightly in the dressing.

3) Serve, garnishing with a light sprinkling of almonds and extra salt and pepper, if desired.

For the Curried Almond Dressing:

1) Using a standing blender or an immersion blender and deep cup or jar, puree all the ingredients (starting with 1⁄2 cup of the water) until very smooth. (A high-powered blender such as a Blendtec works best to smooth out the dressing; using an immersion blender or regular blender will leave a little more texture and take a little longer.)2) Add additional curry to taste, and additional water to thin as desired (see note). Makes about 1 generous cup.


Kale salads can be quite versatile. Try another thick, creamy nut- or seed-based dressing, such as Citrus Tahini Dressing, Creamy Cumin-Spiced Dressing, or DJ’s Hummus Salad Dressing. The key is to coat the leaves nicely, and let the salad sit for ten minutes (or a little longer) before serving, to give the kale a chance to slightly soften in the dressing. You can also massage the kale leaves by hand before adding the dressing, to help soften the tougher leaves.

Savvy Subs and Adds:

If fennel isn’t your thing, substitute julienned jicama, thinly sliced celery (cut on a diagonal), or julienned red bell pepper, or some combination of these ingredients.

If you aren’t sure if you’ll like this much kale in the salad, try starting with 2 to 21⁄2 cups, making up the difference with extra grated carrot or fennel.

Other veggies you can consider adding include chopped or finely sliced cucumber, red bell pepper, cherry tomatoes, grated beet (“pretty in pink” salad, anyone?). Or try some zucchini ribbons: Use a vegetable peeler to make thick ribbons—these can be the base of a salad all on their own! And other dried fruit, such as apricots, goji berries, and raisins, can be interchanged with the cranberries, if you prefer.

Curried Almond Dressing Notes:

I like using about 1⁄8 rounded teaspoon of curry powder in this dressing, for a very muted flavor. But if you love curry, feel free to use more than this, adjusting to your own taste.

Serving Suggestions:

I first tinkered with this recipe for a salad dressing. After making it, I realized it would work equally well as a dip. If using as a dip, use just 1⁄3 to 1⁄2 cup of water to puree and then refrigerate it, adding extra water later, if desired, to thin (it will thicken considerably after chilling). If using as a salad dressing, you can keep it thick, or thin it more as you prefer. I like it with about 2⁄3 cup of water as a salad dressing, which keeps it fairly thick, almost like a Caesar dressing consistency.