I know it’s kind of cliche to talk about how much I love kale but to be totally honest, kale and I kind of took a break for a few months. I found myself filling my salad bowls with romaine and spinach. But kale is BACK. And it’s one of my favorite greens to make a hearty fall salad like this apple walnut kale salad!
This delicious superfood is so perfect with crisp apples, salty Parmesan, and crunchy walnuts. Even the dressing is healthy!
And when I fall back in love with a food, it gets stuck on repeat. (Just like this Ariana Grande song on my workout playlist.) Really though, kale is perfect for fall & winter salads because it can stand up to hearty ingredients like apples. I love the sweet and salty combo of the apples + parmesan in this recipe. I think this would also be great with feta but I haven’t tried that just yet. For now, I’m all about salty parmesan. This salad is super easy to throw together and you could even make it an hour or two ahead of time without worrying about the kale wilting too much. (Meanwhile, let’s give spinach the side eye because it wilts after 20 seconds in dressing.)
So get out your bowls and whip up this apple walnut kale salad!
Tips for a perfect kale salad
- De-stem the kale. The stems are very tough and bitter, so they can make the salad difficult to eat. You can either fold the leaves in half and slice the stem off or you can just tear the leaves right off the stem.
- Massage the dressing into the kale with your hands. This helps break down the leaves even more and helps soften the kale.
This made enough for two as a pretty hearty side. You could double this to make 2 main dish salads.
- 1 bunch kale
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- Pinch of salt
- 1 apple
- 1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup walnuts
- Wash and de-stem the kale by pulling the leaves off the stem and tearing into smaller pieces.
- In a small dish, combine the lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, olive oil, and salt, and drizzle it over the kale.
- Using your hands, massage the kale leaves with the dressing.
- Chop and apple into small chunks and add to your salad.
- Grate or shred fresh parmesan cheese on top.
- Toss in the walnuts (if they’re whole, break them up a bit).
- Serve immediately or keep it in the fridge for up to 2 hours until ready to serve.
Keywords: Kale salad
This apple walnut kale salad only takes a few minutes to prepare and it’s perfect for a hearty side dish. If you wanted to make this into a main dish, you could toss some cooked quinoa or wild rice into the salad to bulk it up! Since kale can marinate in the dressing for a little while, you can make this kale salad a couple hours ahead of time.
What’s your favorite salad green?
This post was originally published in November 2015.