Carrot, Napa Cabbage, and Apple Slaw with Creamy Poppy Seed Dressing

Simple do-ahead steps make this salad perfect for a summer picnic or backyard barbecue. It’s refreshing and brightly colored, with the sweetness of the apples playing off the tang of the creamy lemon dressing. With a sharp knife you can quickly make matchsticks from the carrots and apple. A faster approach, and perfectly satisfactory, would be to use the coarse grating disk of a food processor. The napa cabbage, however, looks best when cut by hand.



  • ¼ cup/60 ml. mayonnaise
  • 3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • tsp. kosher or fine sea salt
  • 1 tsp. poppy seeds
  • 8 oz/225 g napa cabbage, cored and finely shredded
  • 8 oz/225 g carrots, trimmed, peeled, and cut into matchsticks
  • 1 crisp red apple, cored and cut into matchsticks
  • 2 tbsp. finely snipped fresh chives


  1. To make the dressing, in a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, oil, lemon juice, salt, and poppy seeds. Set aside while you cut the vegetables, or cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day.
  2. In a large bowl, toss together the cabbage, carrots, and apple. Spoon the dressing over the top and toss the slaw to distribute the dressing evenly. Transfer to a serving bowl, garnish with the chives, and serve immediately. (The cabbage and carrots can be cut up to 8 hours in advance. Cover and refrigerate until ready to toss the slaw. It is best to cut the apple right before adding it to the slaw so it doesn’t discolor.)