Sometimes the simplest recipes are the best recipes, and this kale apple salad proves just that. The vinaigrette, made with fresh thyme and apple cider vinegar, offers just enough flavor without overpowering the others.
I thought our Goodbye Garden Party needed some greens, and this autumn-inspired salad, made with baby kale, was just the ticket. And in my eye, every great salad needs a bit of cheese, and goat cheese was the ideal pairing for this salad that’s sweet, tart and nutty.
Unlike regular kale, baby kale strikes a balance between being hearty and tender. If kale and spinach had a baby it would result in baby kale. It’s glorious. But if you can’t find baby kale, look for Lacinato kale instead. At last resort use the curly variety, just give it a good massage before using.
Why would you massage kale?
Well, if you’re using curly kale, or even Lacinato (dinosaur) kale, the leaves can be awfully tough. Massaging chopped kale for 30 seconds to a minute really benefits the texture of the greens, making them more tender and easier to eat.
What kind of kale is best for salads?
The variety of kale that’s best for salads is called Lacinato kale, you may see it labeled as dinosaur, Tuscan or black kale as well. Lacinato kale has flatter leaves that look almost bubbly. It’s more tender, nutty, and overall more enjoyable than curly kale. I use Lacinato kale in this Herbed Kale & Sorghum Salad.
I also love using baby kale (immature kale leaves) in salads. It’s significantly more delicate than mature kale, but is still heartier than spinach or arugula. Baby kale has a slight peppery flavor but is milder in flavor than the mature varieties. You’ll often find baby kale sold in 5 ounce plastic containers.
What do you serve with kale salad?
Good thing I’ve got a whole menu featuring this kale salad ready to go! Check out the complete Goodbye Garden Party menu below for some great pairing ideas.
Additional ideas of what to serve with a kale salad:
- Grilled or roasted chicken, turkey or pork
- Warm sandwiches like these open-faced Gruyère & Apple Toasts or these 5-ingredient Turkey and Fig Paninis
- A hot bowl (or two) of this Butternut Squash & Apple Bisque
- A hearty portion of creamy risotto
- A delicious vegetarian Pasta Bolognese
Are you ready to throw your own Goodbye Garden (and grilling) Party? Check out the complete menu below!
Goodbye Garden Party Menu
Autumn Kale Apple Salad with Goat Cheese & Pistachios
This fall-inspired kale apple salad is simple yet flavorful. Made with tender baby kale and tossed with a thyme and maple vinaigrette, this healthy salad is delicious with any fall menu.
For the salad:
1 container baby kale (5 ounces) or 5 cups chopped kale
1 medium Honeycrisp apple, cored and thinly sliced
½ cup crumbled fresh goat cheese (2 ounces)
¼ cup roasted and salted shelled pistachios
For the vinaigrette
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
3 teaspoons minced shallot
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
Salt and pepper to taste
For the salad:
In a serving bowl combine kale, apple, goat cheese, and pistachios.
For the vinaigrette:
Whisk together olive oil, vinegar, maple syrup, shallot, and thyme; season with salt and pepper.
Drizzle vinaigrette over salad, toss to combine and serve.
Add some protein to make this salad a main dish. I like to add grilled chicken, crispy prosciutto or crispy tofu.
Equipment you’ll need for this recipe:
- Large bowl—that’s it!
What you’ll need for this recipe:
Goat cheese (Chevre)
- Serving Size: 1½ cups
- Calories: 227
- Sugar: 8g
- Sodium: 108mg
- Fat: 16g
- Saturated Fat: 5g
- Carbohydrates: 16g
- Fiber: 3g
- Protein: 7.5g
- Cholesterol: 15mg