Believe it or not, this kale slaw recipe was one of my first forays into the world of kale.
It’s a recipe I created way back in 2011, when kale was just starting to become a “thing”.
At first, I was totally weirded out about eating kale raw. I had previously only used it in soups or sautes, where it cooked down and became nice and tender.
But raw?? In a salad? My 2011 mind was blown.
So, instead of going full bore into the world of kale salad, I dipped my toe in.
First issue – texture.
I was really worried that curly raw kale would be tough & unpleasant to chew.
Thinly slicing it so it was easy to chew, and mixing it with spinach, to keep the salad light and tender.
Second issue – flavor.
I used to think raw kale was a little in-your-face with its cruciferous flavor, so again, I mellowed it out with spinach and a bunch of veggies like zucchini and tomato and slathered it in a creamy lemon-garlic dressing.
So basically, I made a raw kale slaw, more than a salad.
Chock full of shredded veggies and heavy on the dressing.
But mmmm, it’s good! I still had the recipe saved from back in the day, so today I decided to shoot it for the blog. This would be a great simple side to a backyard pool party, to serve alongside some grilled meats and ice cold watermelon.
Hope you love it!
Creamy Raw Kale Slaw
- 1/2 bunch kale, stems removed and leaves thinly sliced cross-wise
- 3 cups thinly sliced spinach
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered, depending on size
- 2 cups shredded zucchini (about 2 small zucchini)
- 1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
For the dressing:
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoons water
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
Add the kale, spinach, tomatoes, zucchini, and cheese to a large bowl.
Whisk the olive oil, sour cream, red wine vinegar, and water in a small bowl. Stir in the lemon zest, garlic, and salt and pepper until completely combined.
Add the dressing to the slaw, toss until evenly coated, and serve!
It takes a lot for me to turn on my oven in the middle of the summer…
But I’ll do it for this delicious soba noodle dish with oven roasted tomatoes and quick pan seared shrimp 😛
I’m obsessed with light summer meals like this one.
Quick cooking buckwheat noodles are tossed with a gingery miso dressing, oven roasted tomatoes, green onion, and sesame, and topped off with buttery pan-seared shrimp.
The result is a light meal that tastes out of this world but doesn’t leave you feeling uncomfortably full like richer pasta dishes sometimes can.
Plus, I love that this recipe includes miso.
If you’re not familiar with this fermented soy paste, it’s time to get acquainted.
Miso is probably most well known from the complimentary miso soup often served at sushi restaurants, but it can be used in so many more ways.
There are 3 common types of miso:
- White miso – This is the lightest tasting of all the varieties & commonly used raw, like in quick sauces or dressings. It is typically fermented with rice, so it has a light yellow color & tends to be naturally gluten free (but read the labels just in case).
- Yellow miso – This is probably the most popular variety. Despite the name, it actually has a light brown coloring. It still has a nice salty umami taste, but is subtle enough to not overtake a dish. This is the type of miso usually used in miso soup, and my favorite variety to have on hand in the fridge. It is usually fermented with barley, so read labels carefully if you are gluten-free.
- Red miso – This darker reddish brown paste is the strongest of the 3 common varieties. It isn’t used as much in soup, since it would turn the broth a darker color, but is often used in glazes or braised dishes where you want a nice punch of flavor.
For this recipe, you just want a light hit of miso flavor, so I recommend using a white or yellow variety.
And just to make sure the flavor is infused in the dish, it’s used both in the dressing AND on the roasted tomatoes. Yum!
Top this quick salad with buttery pan seared shrimp (they literally cook in 6 minutes flat) and you’re good to go.
Looking for other fun ways to use miso? You’ll love these recipes:
Shrimp Tomato Pasta with Miso Dressing
Light summer dish with roasted tomatoes, buttery pan-seared shrimp, and a ginger-miso dressing.
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 tablespoons yellow or white miso (gluten-free variety if needed)
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon minced ginger
- Juice and zest of 1 lime
- Kosher salt
- Ground black pepper
- 2 pints cherry tomatoes
- 8 ounces soba noodles (100% buckwheat preferred)
- 5 green onions, sliced
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
- 24 large shrimp, shelled and deveined
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Juice of 1 large lemon
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, rice vinegar, sesame oil, honey, miso, garlic, ginger, lime zest, and lime juice. Season with a pinch of kosher salt and ground black pepper.
Spread the cherry tomatoes out on a large rimmed baking dish. Pour 1/4 cup of the dressing onto the tomatoes and toss to coat. Place in the oven and bake for about 20 minutes, or until the tomatoes are tender and just starting to burst.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the soba noodles and cook according to package directions (usually no more than 5 minutes). Drain well and place in a large bowl. Pour the remaining dressing over the noodles and toss to combine. Set aside until everything else is done.
When the tomatoes are done roasting, add them & any accumulated pan juices to the bowl with the soba noodles. Add the green onion and sesame seeds, then toss again to combine.
In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Season the shrimp with kosher salt and ground black pepper, then add to the skillet, taking care to spread them out evenly. Avoid over crowding the pan. You can cook them in 2 batches if they do not fit in your pan in one layer.
Let the shrimp cook for about 3 minutes on each side, then immediately remove from the pan and onto a plate. Drizzle with fresh lemon juice.
Scoop portions of the soba noodles into individual serving bowls, and top each portion with 6 shrimp. Sprinkle with extra sesame seeds if desired, and serve right away.
It’s taco night every night up in this house.
Whenever we have leftover roasted pork or packages of ground beef or turkey tucked away in the freezer, my go-to is TACOS!
And sometimes simple street tacos are what hit the spot.
No need for fancy schmancy toppings.
The savory carnitas take center stage, simply highlighted with salsa verde, white onion, fresh cilantro, and a pop of lime.
The key to perfect tacos at home is lightly pan-frying the tortillas.
DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT, under any circumstances, serve the tortillas raw. Blech!
You’ll end up with chalky bland tortillas that crack and break into pieces as you try to eat.
Instead, take a few minutes to warm the tortillas in a pan with a little oil. They’ll get slightly crisp, and take on a beautiful golden color. Instead of tearing, they’ll remain nice and tender and perfect for stuffing with carnitas.
You can totally customize this recipe to serve even more people.
Just estimate roughly 1 hour of slow-cooking in the oven per pound of meat.
These tacos are the perfect Sunday football party fare!
Carnitas Street Tacos
Servings: 16 tacos
- 4 pounds bone-in skin-on pork shoulder
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup grapeseed oil or other high heat oil, divided, plus additional for cooking the tortillas
- 1 package of organic corn tortillas (30 count)
- Favorite verde salsa - homemade or store bought
- 1 white onion, minced
- 1 bunch cilantro, minced
- 6 limes, quartered
Pat the pork shoulder dry with paper towels, then sprinkle with a liberal amount of salt and pepper on all sides, including the skin side.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Let the pork shoulder sit at room temperature while the oven preheats.
When the oven is preheated, place a heavy bottomed lidded pot (I used my enameled cast iron dutch oven) on the stove top. Add 2 tablespoons of grapeseed oil and warm over high heat. When the oil is shimmering, add the pork shoulder, fat side down, and cook on that side until nicely golden brown. Rotate the pork to the next side, and continue, until all the sides and end pieces are nicely browned.
When the pork is browned all over, rotate the pork so the skin side is facing up, and place the lid on the pot. Put the dutch oven inside the oven, and let cook without moving for about 4 hours, until the outside of the pork is deeply browned, and the meat is fall apart tender. If the skin is not yet dark brown and crispy, increase the heat to 500 degrees and let cook with the lid off the pan, until it is crispy.
Remove from the oven, and let the pork rest for 30 minutes. Remove the crispy skin and set aside. Then, use two large forks or your fingers to pull the pork apart into pieces and then shred into bite-sized pieces. Chop the crispy skin into small pieces and toss into the shredded meat as well.
Next, add 2 tablespoons of grapeseed oil to a large skillet and warm over high heat. Add the shredded pork & let it cook for a few minutes without stirring until some of the pieces get nice and crispy. Remove from the skillet into a serving bowl.
Next, in a small skillet, pour enough grapeseed oil to form a thin layer in the pan. Warm over high heat. Using tongs, add one corn tortilla to the pan. Let it cook briefly on one side until the tortilla starts to puff up. Flip over and cook briefly on the other side until lightly golden but still pliable. Remove to a paper towel lined plate and continue with the desired number of tortillas (16 or 20 should be perfect). Continue to add oil as needed to keep a light coating in the pan.
When the tortillas are done, you're ready to assemble the tacos! Place some of the pork carnitas in the center of a tortilla, spoon some salsa verde over the top, and sprinkle with minced onion and cilantro. Squeeze fresh lime over the top and serve right away.