Colorful Kale, Apple, and Fennel Slaw

Meet my slaw soulmate. It’s a vibrant, hefty, slightly sweet slaw that is great on its own.

June 21, 2017
Colorful Kale, Apple, and Fennel Slaw
Kathryne Taylor

Adapted from Kathryne's new cookbook, Love Real Food

Meet my slaw soulmate. It's a vibrant, hefty, slightly sweet slaw that is great on its own. It's also fantastic with sandwiches, burgers, and heavier entrees that need some balance. Thinly sliced
fennel elevates this slaw with its light licorice flavor and delicate crunch. If you haven't tried raw fennel before, you're in for a treat!


More: 50 Quick & Easy Salad Recipes for Busy Nights

Unlike my other kale salads that call for massaging the kale, this one just needs a 15-minute rest to break down the kale and meld the flavors. Tart dried cherries play particularly well with the other ingredients, so they are definitely worth using over dried cranberries. If you would like to turn this into a more substantial meal on its own, add up to 1/2 cup freshly toasted, salted sunflower seeds.

Colorful Kale, Apple, and Fennel Slaw
(Makes 4 large or 8 side salads)


  • 2 cups packed chopped Tuscan (lacinato) kale leaves, tough ribs removed (about 1/2 medium bunch)
  • 2 cups thinly sliced red cabbage (about 1/2 pound)
  • 2 cups thinly sliced Brussels sprouts (about 1/2 pound), tough ends trimmed
  • 1 cup thinly sliced raw fennel (about 1/2 medium bulb)*
  • 1 medium-large Granny Smith apple, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup chopped dried tart cherries

Zippy lime dressing:

  • 3 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 Tablespoons lime juice (from about 1 1/2 limes), or more if needed
  • 1 Tablespoon plus
  • 1 teaspoon honey or maple syrup
  • 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

1. To prepare the slaw: In a large salad bowl, combine the kale, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, fennel, apple, and dried cherries.

2. To make the dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lime juice, honey, vinegar, mustard, and salt until blended. Taste and adjust as necessary. For more acidity, add a little more lime juice, or to mellow the flavors a bit, add a little more honey.


3. Drizzle the dressing over the salad and toss to combine. For best flavor, let the salad marinate for 15 to 20 minutes before serving. This slaw keeps well, chilled, for 2 to 3 days.

Tip: The easiest way to shred the kale, cabbage, and sprouts is to run them through your food processor using the slicing attachment. Use a mandoline to finely slice the fennel, if you have one. If not, a sharp knife will work well.

*Ingredient Note: If you love fennel, you can add the full bulb for a more pronounced fennel slaw. If you don't love raw fennel, just replace it with 1 additional cup of kale, cabbage, or Brussels sprouts. Leftover fennel is best used quickly. I like to toss finely sliced raw fennel with a light drizzle of olive oil, a squeeze of lemon juice, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper for a simple salad or snack.