Caribbean Collard Green Coleslaw

You would think that as a lover of all things fancy, coleslaw wouldn’t exactly be my thing, especially slaw made from collard greens. Well, you are mistaken. Above all, I am a proud, Black southern lady who possesses good sense, soooooo I love collard greens. I am also from Memphis, so I love BBQ. All good Q needs some slaw and this is the one that gives you more – more flavor and more nutrition.

I try to up the real vegetable quotient in everything for a couple of reasons. The first reason is obviously to increase the nutrient factor because I like pleasant doctor’s visits and the lack of prescription BP meds amongst other things like good skin and strong teeth. Collard greens are basically vitamin K factories and they are also full a lot more good things that our bodies need. Second, I love color! A colorful plate is a fancy plate.

Also, collards are just a superior nutritional choice when you compare them to cabbage, the standard slaw main ingredient. They contain vitamins A, C, and even some calcium. Cabbage although good, just doesn’t hold up next to the greens. 

Oh. How and why is it Caribbean? I am truly obsessed with island flavors – scotch bonnets, thyme. Much of Caribbean cuisine is vegan or easily vegan-ized, so it is a mainstay in my home. I took this same energy and added it to the coleslaw. It’s always good to diversify your bonds. 


Caribbean Collard Green Coleslaw

Use organic ingredients as often as possible. It’s always good to use the very best whenever you can. The food will taste better. Seriously, it will. 


2 bunches collard greens*, (laid flat; around 10 big leaves with steams removed)

2 cups shredded carrots

2 scotch bonnets or habaneros

½ yellow bell pepper

½ red bell pepper

½ red onion

3 or 4 chopped scallions

4 sprigs of fresh thyme leaves

Juice of half of a lime

Himalayan sea salt and black pepper to taste

For “vinaigrette”:

3 or 4 sprigs fresh thyme (leave & stems)

½ cup rice wine vinegar (or any you have on hand)

¼ cup grapeseed oil (or any mild oil)

4 tbsp sugar

1 tsp mustard

Set aside a large mixing bowl and add the veg as its prepped. 

  • Remove the collard stems and lay the leaves flat, stacking them on top of each other
  • Roll the greens tightly and cut into thin ribbons
  • Throw in shredded carrot or shred a couple cups worth
  • Chop scallions, white and green parts
  • Slice red onion, habaneros, red and yellow bell peppers thinly 

Now it’s time for the thing that brings it all together. 

  • Using a small saucepan, combine vinegar, sugar, thyme, oil, mustard
  • Bring the mixture to boil, whisking until sugar is dissolved
Pour it up. Pour it up.

Once boiling and the sugar is dissolved, pour the mixture over the collard greens and veg. Stir it all together to make sure all is coated. Salt and pepper to taste. If you’d like, squeeze a little lime juice and toss a little more. Cover and let it all chill in the fridge for a couple of hours or longer. The hardiness of the collard greens makes it perfect to stand up to the hot sauce. You are still left with the bite you need that makes coleslaw, coleslaw. 

*Now for my rant. Has anyone noticed how much collard greens cost now? It is absolutely criminal. All of a sudden, a food that many people could purchase cheaply to feed their families has been re-branded into some increasingly unaffordable “superfood.” Thanks, collard wrap enthusiasts. Oh, and I guess capitalism too. But I still like fancy shit. Layers. Sigh.

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