A good dish for the crushing heat is this delish recipe for kale salad with apples. It’s so good! Let’s see how to make it in the following article of Apronese.
Substitution Options for Kale
Not everyone loves kale, so you can add a more tender green than kale, like spinach or spring mix.
If you use a tender salad green, skip the step where massage the dressing into the kale.
Substitution Options for Blue Cheese
If you don’t have blue cheese, feta or chevre (goat cheese) will also be amazing. You can even shred something like white cheddar onto this salad.
What Apple Should I Use?
For this salad, it’s best to use an apple variety that is at least semi-tart, as you already have a good amount of sweetness from the candied walnuts. I used Jazz apples, which is a nice crisp and fairly tart apple.
How to Store Kale and Apple Salad?
If you’re not going to serve all of this salad at once, keep the ingredients separate until just before serving, since the kale will continue to wilt from the dressing when refrigerated. And for me, the salad is best when the dressing is massaged into the salad just before serving.
Can I Use Store-Bought Dressing?
Yes, you can. If you don’t have a stocked pantry and don’t have the ingredients for the homemade balsamic vinaigrette yet, you can use a store bought balsamic vinaigrette.
However, the homemade is way better, so consider picking up the ingredients for it.
Recipe for Kale Salad with Apples
All the flavors come together in this salad with candied walnuts and a homemade balsamic vinaigrette.
Prep Time: 20 mins / Cook Time: 5 mins / Total Time: 25 mins
Servings: 4 side salads
- 1/3 cup olive oil ($0.55)
- 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar ($0.41)
- 2 tbsp mayonnaise ($0.17)
- 1/2 tbsp Dijon mustard ($0.09)
- 1 clove garlic, minced ($0.08)
- 1/2 tsp dried basil ($0.05)
- 1/4 tsp salt ($0.01)
- Freshly cracked pepper ($0.02)
- 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped ($0.60)
- 1/2 tbsp butter ($0.07)
- 2 tbsp brown sugar ($0.08)
- 1 pinch salt ($0.01)
- 8 oz. torn kale leaves (about 12 cups) ($2.13)
- 1 apple ($0.52)
- 2 tbsp crumbled blue cheese ($0.30)
- Make the balsamic vinaigrette first, so the flavors have time to blend. Add the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, mayonnaise, Dijon, minced garlic, dried basil, salt, and some freshly cracked pepper to a jar, bowl, or blender. Close the jar and shake, whisk in the bowl, or blend until the dressing is smooth. Set the dressing aside.
- Next, make the candied walnuts. Add the butter, brown sugar, and a pinch of salt to a small non-stick skillet. Heat over medium while stirring, just until the brown sugar begins to melt and sizzle around the edges (one minute).
- Add the chopped walnuts to the skillet and stir to combine with the partially melted brown sugar. Continue to cook over medium heat, stirring every 10-15 seconds, until the brown sugar fully melts (looks glossy instead of grainy) and completely coats the walnuts.
- Remove the skillet from the heat immediately and pour the hot candied walnuts out onto a piece of parchment. Spread the walnut pieces out in a single layer and let cool (about 10 minutes).
- Add the torn kale leaves to a large bowl. Add about 2 tbsp of the balsamic vinaigrette and massage the dressing into the torn kale leaves for about 2 minutes. The kale will wilt to about half the volume.
- Cut the apple into four quarters, then cut the core off of each piece. Slice each quarter of the apple into thin pieces.
- Divide the massaged kale between four plates. Add apple slices, a tablespoon or two of candied walnuts, and about 1/2 tbsp blue cheese to each salad. Drizzle a little more balsamic vinaigrette over each, then serve.
Serving: 1 Serving ・ Calories: 408.63 kcal ・ Carbohydrates: 17.2 g ・ Protein: 5.95 g ・ Fat: 38.6 g ・ Sodium: 826.9 mg ・ Fiber: 2.43 g
The nutritional values shown here are only estimates. Please see our nutrition disclaimer.
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How to Make Kale Salad with Apples – Step-by-step Photos
Step 1: Start with the homemade balsamic vinaigrette. Add 1/3 cup olive oil, 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar, 2 tbsp mayonnaise, 1/2 tbsp Dijon mustard, 1 clove of garlic (minced), 1/2 tsp dried basil, 1/4 tsp salt, and some freshly cracked pepper in a jar, bowl, or blender.
Step 2: Close and shake the jar, use a whisk in a bowl, or blend the dressing in a blender until smooth. Set the dressing aside.
Step 3: Make the candied walnuts. Add 1/2 tbsp butter, 2 tbsp brown sugar, and a pinch of salt to a small non-stick skillet.
Heat over medium while stirring just until the brown sugar melts a bit and sizzle around the edges (about one minute).
It should still be a little grainy.
Step 4: Once the brown sugar has begun to melt (but still looks grainy), add 1/2 cup chopped walnuts and stir to combine.
Continue to cook over medium, stirring every 10-15 seconds, until the brown sugar is fully melted (looks glossy, not grainy) and fully coats the walnuts (about 3 minutes).
Step 5: Pour the candied walnuts out onto a sheet of parchment, spreading them into a single layer, and allow them to cool. The candy coating will harden as they cool.
Step 6: Now prepare the kale. I used about 2/3 of this large 12 oz. bag of torn kale leaves.
Step 7: Place the torn kale leaves in a very large bowl, then drizzle about 2 tbsp of the balsamic vinaigrette over the top.
Use your hands to massage the dressing into the kale (this should only take about 2 minutes).
The kale will become dark and glossy when the dressing is massaged in.
Step 8: Cut an apple into quarters, then cut the core off each quarter. Slice each quarter into thins strips.
Step 9: Divide the massaged kale between four plates (or two if you want two larger meal-sized salads).
Step 10: Add the apple slices to the salads.
Step 11: Add candied walnuts and sprinkle about 1/2 tbsp crumbled blue cheese over each salad.
Step 12: Finally, drizzle a little more of the balsamic vinaigrette over top, then serve.
And that’s all for how to make kale salad with apples. If you’re not into kale, there are some options for you to replace it. Follow the steps above and share with us your result by leaving a comment below. Don’t forget to come back to Apronese for more updates!