Autumn Crunch Kale Apple Salad

I am completely obsessed with this Crunch Kale Apple Salad. It combines fresh kale and crisp apples with a medley of other delicious ingredients that are sure to satisfy.

KALE APPLE SALAD

Autumn Crunch Kale Apple Salad

I enjoy salads more when they have some texture, and this kale apple salad delivers just that! It’s incredibly delicious, and if I had to eat one type of salad for an entire year, this would be my top pick. This holiday-worthy kale salad is full of crunch from crisp apples, radish, and pecans, complemented with sweet cranberries, red onions, and a few pomegranate seeds. Then, all this goodness is tossed in a honey mustard dressing. What’s not to love?

Crunch-Kale-Apple-Salad

This salad is versatile and can be enjoyed on any occasion, whether a casual weeknight dinner or a formal gathering. The combination of flavors makes it a perfect salad choice for fall or winter, making it an excellent addition to your Thanksgiving or Christmas feast. However, it’s delicious any time of year. To make this delicious crunch salad, you will need the following ingredients:

I-enjoy-salads-more-when-they-have-some-texture,-and-this-kale-apple-salad-delivers-just-that

INGREDIENTS FOR THIS AUTUMN CRUNCH KALE APPLE SALAD:

  • Kale: While this is of course a personal preference, my go-to type of kale for salad recipes is CURLY LEAF KALE. I find that the peppery and bitter qualities of this kale complement the sweetness of the other ingredients, like apples and cranberries.  LACIANO (DINOSAUR) KALE or even RED KALE are other options. Simply look for kale that has fresh, sturdy leaves.
  • Onion: I use red onions, but you can use white or yellow onions. 
  • Dried cranberries: sweet-tart cranberries (craisins) add a touch of sweetness and a great texture. You can use a reduced-sugar cranberry if you like. Both raisins and dried cherries work as substitutes.
  • Apples: I used Honeycrisp, which is my personal favorite. It’s so sweet and juicy and has an incredible crunch. That said, you are welcome to use any variety that you love!
  • Radish: I use Red Radish (table radish). This is the most common radish sold in stores.  They have such vibrant colors and flavors. Radishes are slightly spicy, crisp, and zesty. It’s one of my favorite vegetables. I cut them very thin.
  • Nuts: I used pecans; you can try this with another nut like walnuts or almonds.
  • Pomegranate: I love using pomegranate seeds (also known as arils) in this salad. It adds a surprising burst of flavor! You can buy the already removed pomegranate seed at the grocery store, or just buy the fruit and remove it yourself.
  • Oil: Massage the kale with a little extra-virgin olive oil and salt to tenderize the leaves. It also adds lots of flavor to the kale.
  • Cheese: You can slice up a ball of fresh mozzarella, or, in my preference, use bite-sized fresh mozzarella pearls.
  • HONEY MUSTARD DRESSING: LOOK DOWN BELOW FOR INSTRUCTIONS ON HOW TO MAKE IT. I ALSO RECOMMEND THIS POMEGRANATE SALAD VINAIGRETTE.

HOW TO MAKE THIS AUTUMN CRUNCH KALE APPLE SALAD:

STEP 1: PREPARE THE KALE

Pull the kale leaves off the tough stems and discard the stems. Using your hands, tear the kale into smaller pieces. Place them in a salad spinner, wash, and dry well. Then, use a chef’s knife to chop the kale into small, bite-sized pieces. Place the kale in a large salad or mixing bowl. Pour some oil and a pinch of salt to massage the kale.

Pour some oil and a pinch of salt to massage the kale.

Massage the leaves with your hands by lightly scrunching big handfuls at a time until the leaves are darker in color. It makes the kale really soft and tender, with each bite covered in oil. After the kale is massaged, it helps break down the bitterness of the kale. Let the kale sit in the fridge or at room temperature while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

Kale-Recipe

STEP 2: MAKE THE DRESSING

HOW TO MAKE HONEY MUSTARD DRESSING:

3 tablespoons of olive oil; aim for a high-quality one so that it lends a lovely flavor.
1 ½ tablespoons apple cider vinegar (or white wine vinegar)
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 ½ teaspoons honey or maple syrup
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Mix olive oil, apple cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, honey, or maple syrup in a small jar, and season with salt and pepper. Cover the jar with a lid, and shake the dressing ingredients together.

STEP 3: PREPARE APPLES, ONION AND RADISHES 

Core and cut the apples into thin slices, as well as the red onion and radishes. Have all the ingredients ready to save time and go to the next step to assemble the salad.

Healthy-Crunchy-Salad

STEP 4: ASSEMBLE THE SALAD

Toss everything together, add the dressing, and season with additional salt and pepper (if needed). Serve and enjoy!

KALE-APPLE-SALAD

Serve immediately, or for even better flavor, let the salad marinate in the dressing for 10 to 20 minutes. Add the freshly grated parmesan (I always use parmigiano-reggiano as it has the most delicious flavor!).

Crunch-Kale-Apple-Salad

Can I make this kale salad in advance?

The answer is Yes! Kale salads hold up really well when made in advance. Kale leaves don’t go soggy; rather, they start to absorb even more of the flavor and still have a bite to eat. I would recommend adding the apples just before serving in order to prevent browning, or just adding lemon juice to the salad to help slow the browning process in the apples!

What To Serve with This Salad:

While you can totally enjoy this salad on its own, feel free to serve it with an extra protein source for a more filling meal. Some ideas:

GARLIC HERB MARINATED RACK OF LAMB (ROASTED)

CRISPY CILANTRO LIME ROASTED CHICKEN

THE MOST FLAVORFUL BAKED CHICKEN LEG QUARTERS

I also like to serve this salad with my Yogurt-Marinated Roasted Chicken

Recipe.  This chicken pairs so well with this salad.

Delicious-Crunchy-Kale-Apple-Salad

Autumn Crunch Kale Apple Salad

Autumn Crunch Kale Apple Salad

I am completely obsessed with this Crunch Kale Apple Salad. It combines fresh kale and crisp apples with a medley of other delicious ingredients that are sure to satisfy.
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Healthy Salad
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 6 SERVINGS
Calories: 310kcal

Ingredients

  • 8 to 10 ounces of kale
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil and a pinch of salt massage the kale
  • 2 apples
  • 1 small onion
  • 3-4 radishes thinly slice
  • cup fresh mozzarella pearls
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • ½ cup pomegranate seeds
  • 1 cup pecans

Dressing:

  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil aim for a high-quality one so that it lends a lovely flavor.
  • 1 ½ tablespoons apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 ½ teaspoons honey or maple syrup
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Instructions

STEP 1: PREPARE THE KALE

  • Pull the kale leaves off the tough stems and discard the stems. Using your hands, tear the kale into smaller pieces.
  • Place them in a salad spinner, wash, and dry well. Then, use a chef’s knife to chop the kale into small, bite-sized pieces.
  • Transfer the kale to a large salad or mixing bowl. Pour some oil and a pinch of salt to massage the kale. Massage the leaves with your hands by lightly scrunching big handfuls at a time until the leaves are darker in color. It makes the kale soft and tender, with each bite covered in oil.
  • After the kale is massaged, it helps break down the bitterness of the kale. Let the kale sit in the fridge or at room temperature while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

STEP 2: MAKE THE DRESSING

  • In a small jar, mix olive oil, apple cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, honey, or maple syrup, and season with salt and pepper. Cover the jar with a lid, and shake the dressing ingredients together.

STEP 3: Prepare apples, onions and radishes

  • Core and cut the apples into thin slices, as well as the red onion and radishes. Have all the ingredients ready to save time and go to the next step to assemble the salad.

STEP 4: ASSEMBLE THE SALAD

  • Toss everything together, add the dressing, and season with additional salt and pepper (if needed). Serve and enjoy!
  • Serve immediately, or for even better flavor, let the salad marinate in the dressing for 10 to 20 minutes. Add the freshly grated parmesan (I always use parmigiano-reggiano as it has the most delicious flavor!).

Notes

Can I make this kale salad in advance?

The answer is Yes! Kale salads hold up really well when made in advance. Kale leaves don’t go soggy; rather, they start to absorb even more of the flavor and still have a bite to eat. I would recommend adding the apples just before serving in order to prevent browning, or just adding lemon juice to the salad to help slow the browning process in the apples!

What to Serve With This Salad:

While you can totally enjoy this salad on its own, feel free to serve it with an extra protein source for a more filling meal. Some ideas:
GARLIC HERB MARINATED RACK OF LAMB (ROASTED)
CRISPY CILANTRO LIME ROASTED CHICKEN
THE MOST FLAVORFUL BAKED CHICKEN LEG QUARTERS
I also like to serve this salad with my Yogurt-Marinated Roasted Chicken
Recipe.  This chicken pairs so well with this salad.

Nutrition

Calories: 310kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 14g | Cholesterol: 2mg | Sodium: 55mg | Potassium: 330mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 18g | Vitamin A: 3820IU | Vitamin C: 41mg | Calcium: 139mg | Iron: 1mg

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AUTUMN CRUNCH KALE APPLE SALAD

Tell me what you think of this recipe, and if you have any questions, don’t forget to get in touch with me. I’m always happy to hear from YOU.

Until the next one…

Love E.S. asimpletweak
 

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