Food & Drink

Potluck Collard Slaw

The Southern vegetable shines in a side that’s guaranteed to please

Photo: Angie Mosier

I have served this slaw time and again for a decade, and it is always a hit. The thinly sliced collards make for an unexpected and flavorful twist on cabbage slaw, and the dressing hits all the right notes: acidic, creamy, spicy, and sweet. It is an easy recipe to put together, perfect for a potluck.

Two important things to remember when making this are to cut the collards as thin as you can and to use your hands to mix in the dressing, massaging and bruising the collard leaves. This technique, along with letting the dressed slaw sit before serving, will allow the dressing to stick to the collards and help break them up so that they aren’t tough to chew. If you like kale salads, you might already be familiar with this technique. It works equally well for collards and other sturdy, leafy greens. —Excerpted from I Am From Here: Stories and Recipes from a Southern Chef by Vishwesh Bhatt.

Read our interview with Bhatt from the August/September 2022 issue of G&G.


  • COLLARD GREEN SLAW (Yield: 6–8 servings)

  • For the Dressing

    • ⅓ cup apple cider vinegar

    • ¼ cup mayonnaise (preferably Duke’s)

    • 2 tbsp. Creole or other grainy mustard

    • 1 tbsp. sorghum syrup, maple syrup, or cane syrup

    • 1 tbsp. hot sauce

    • 2 tsp. paprika

    • 1 tsp. celery seed

    • 1 tsp. salt

    • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

  • For the Slaw

    • ¾ cup chopped pecans

    • 2 cups chiffonade collard green leaves (about ½ bunch; remove the tough stems before slicing the leaves)

    • 2 cups thinly sliced green or red cabbage (about ½ small head)

    • 2 medium shallots, thinly sliced from root to tip (½ to ⅔ cup)


  1. First, make the dressing: Whisk together all the dressing ingredients in a small bowl. If making in advance, store the dressing in a covered container in the refrigerator until ready to use.

  2. Make the slaw: Toast pecans in a small, dry skillet over medium heat until fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes, shaking the pan gently so that the nuts toast evenly and do not burn. Remove from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature.

  3. Combine the collards, cabbage, shallots, and pecans in a large bowl. Pour the dressing over the slaw and mix vigorously with your hands. Taste and season with a pinch more salt and/or pepper, if desired.

  4. Allow the slaw to stand for 30 minutes before serving.

Excerpted from I Am From Here: Stories and Recipes from a Southern Chef by Vishwesh Bhatt. Copyright © 2022 by Vishwesh Bhatt. Used with permission of the publisher, W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. All rights reserved.