Kale Apple Salad

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Kale apple salad is a refreshing and healthy salad that combines the bitterness of kale with the sweetness of apples, along with crunchy nuts, tangy cheese, and a zesty vinaigrette for a delicious and balanced meal.

bright green kale, craisins, chopped apples, walnuts, and feta cheese crumbles tossed in dressing in a black bowl on a table next to wooden spoons
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Sweet and Crunchy Kale Salad

Kale and apple salad is not only delicious, but also incredibly healthy, as it’s loaded with vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants. The bitterness of kale is balanced by the sweetness of apples, and the crunchy nuts and creamy cheese add texture and richness to the salad.

This salad can be served as a side dish or a main course, and it pairs well with grilled chicken, fish, or tofu!

It’s a perfect salad for any time of the year, but especially refreshing in the summertime.

A homemade zesty vinaigrette made with lemon juice, honey, and Dijon mustard adds a burst of flavor and helps to tie all the ingredients together.

bright green kale, craisins, chopped apples, walnuts, and feta cheese crumbles tossed in dressing in a black bowl on a table next to wooden spoons

How To Make Kale and Apple Salad

To make this recipe, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • Kale – Kale brings a slightly bitter and earthy flavor to a salad, as well as a hearty and chewy texture.
  • Apples – Apples bring a sweet and juicy flavor to a salad, as well as a crisp and refreshing texture.
  • Feta cheese – Feta cheese brings a salty and tangy flavor to a salad, as well as a crumbly and creamy texture. This texture adds richness and creaminess to the salad, which can complement the bitterness of the kale and the sweetness of the apple.
  • Olive oil – Olive oil brings a rich and fruity flavor to salad dressing, as well as a smooth and silky texture.
  • Apple cider vinegar – Apple cider vinegar brings a tangy and slightly sweet flavor to salad dressing, as well as a bright and refreshing acidity. It’s important in salad dressing because it helps to balance the richness of the oil and the creaminess of other ingredients, and also adds a zesty kick that enhances the overall flavor of the salad.
  • Dijon mustard – Dijon mustard brings a tangy and slightly spicy flavor to salad dressing, as well as a creamy and emulsifying texture. It’s important in salad dressing because it helps to bind the ingredients together, creating a smooth and uniform mixture that coats the greens evenly.
  • Honey or maple syrup – Honey brings a sweet and floral flavor to salad dressing, as well as a thick and sticky texture. It’s important in salad dressing because it helps to balance the acidity of the vinegar and the tanginess of the mustard, creating a well-rounded flavor profile.
  • Salt and pepper – Salt and pepper bring a savory and pungent flavor to salad dressing, as well as a subtle and complementary spiciness. They are important in salad dressing because they enhance the natural flavors of the other ingredients, and also help to balance the overall taste and aroma of the dressing.

Once you’ve gathered your ingredients, we will use the following method:

  • Prep. In a large mixing bowl, combine the kale, diced apple, dried cranberries, and crumbled feta cheese. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the olive oil, apple cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, honey or maple syrup, salt, and pepper until well combined.
  • Dress. Pour the dressing over the kale salad and toss to coat the ingredients evenly.
  • Sit. Let the salad sit for at least 10 minutes before serving to allow the flavors to meld together.
  • Serve. Serve the salad as a side dish or a main course, garnished with additional feta cheese or nuts if desired.
chopped curly kale, craisins, chopped apples, walnuts, and feta cheese crumbles tossed in dressing in a black bowl on a table next to wooden spoons

Tips and Tricks to Perfect Kale and Apple Salad

Massage the kale: To soften the texture of the kale and reduce its bitterness, massage it with a small amount of olive oil or lemon juice for a few minutes before adding the other ingredients.

Cut the apples into small pieces: To ensure that every bite of the salad has a balanced flavor and texture, cut the apples into small bite-sized pieces.

Toast the walnuts: Toasting the walnuts before adding them to the salad will enhance their nutty flavor and add extra crunch.

Use a sharp knife to crumble the feta cheese: Crumbling the feta cheese with a sharp knife will prevent it from becoming too mushy or crumbly, ensuring that it adds the right texture and flavor to the salad.

Let the salad sit: Allowing the salad to sit for at least 10 minutes before serving will help the flavors to meld together and the kale to soften further.

FAQs

Can I use other greens other than kale?

Yes, you can use other types of greens such as spinach, arugula, or mixed greens. However, keep in mind that the flavor and texture of the salad may differ.

Can I use apples other than granny smith?

Yes, you can use other types of apples such as Honeycrisp, Gala, or Fuji. However, Granny Smith apples are preferred in this salad because they are tart and crisp, which adds a nice contrast to the sweetness of the other ingredients.

Can I use different nuts?

Yes, you can use other types of nuts such as almonds, pecans, or pistachios. However, keep in mind that the flavor and texture of the salad may differ.

Can I make this salad ahead of time?

Yes, you can prepare the salad and the dressing ahead of time, but it’s best to toss them together right before serving to prevent the kale from becoming too soggy.

Can I use a different cheese?

Yes, you can use other types of cheese such as goat cheese, blue cheese, or Parmesan. However, keep in mind that the flavor and texture of the salad may differ.

What to Serve With Kale and Apple Salad

Grilled chicken: A simple grilled chicken breast or thighs would pair well with the salad and add some protein to the meal.

Roasted vegetables: Roasted vegetables such as sweet potatoes, carrots, or Brussels sprouts would complement the flavors and textures of the salad.

Soup: A warm bowl of soup such as butternut squash soup, tomato soup, or vegetable soup would make a comforting and satisfying meal when paired with the salad.

Sandwich: A simple sandwich such as turkey and avocado, grilled cheese, or tuna salad would be a great option for a light lunch or dinner when served alongside the salad.

Quinoa or rice: Adding some cooked quinoa or rice to the salad would make it more filling and satisfying, and also provide some additional nutrition and fiber.

chopped kale, craisins, chopped apples, walnuts, and feta cheese crumbles tossed in dressing in a black bowl on a table next to wooden spoons

Kale Apple Salad Recipe

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chopped green kale, craisins, chopped apples, walnuts, and feta cheese crumbles tossed in dressing in a black bowl on a table next to wooden spoons

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bright green kale, craisins, chopped apples, walnuts, and feta cheese crumbles tossed in dressing in a black bowl on a table next to wooden spoons
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Kale Apple Salad

This kale and apple salad is a perfect balance of sweet, salty, and tangy flavors, and the creamy feta cheese adds richness and texture to the dish. The dressing made with olive oil, apple cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, honey or maple syrup, salt, and pepper is simple yet flavorful, and can be adjusted to your taste preference. Enjoy this salad as a nutritious and satisfying meal any time of the year!
Course Salads
Cuisine American
Keyword apple, kale, kale salad, salad, side dish, vegetables, walnuts
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 424kcal
Author Courtney O’Dell

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces kale stems removed and leaves chopped
  • 1 medium Granny Smith apple cored and diced
  • ½ cup dried cranberries or dried cherries
  • 2 ounces feta cheese crumbled
  • 1 cup walnuts

For the dressing:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 ½ tablespoons apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon smooth Dijon mustard
  • 1 ½ teaspoons honey or maple syrup
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Instructions

  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the kale, diced apple, dried cranberries, and crumbled feta cheese.
  • In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the olive oil, apple cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, honey or maple syrup, salt, and pepper until well combined.
  • Pour the dressing over the kale salad and toss to coat the ingredients evenly.
  • Let the salad sit for at least 10 minutes before serving to allow the flavors to meld together.
  • Serve the salad as a side dish or a main course, garnished with additional feta cheese or nuts if desired.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 424kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 31g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 24g | Cholesterol: 13mg | Sodium: 321mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 26g

About Courtney

Courtney loves to share great wine, good food, and loves to explore far flung places- all while masting an everyday elegant and easy style at lifestyle blog Sweet C’s Designs. Sweet C's devoted to finding the best food and drinks you'll want to make or find, around the world!

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