Apple Kale Salad

Delicious Apple, Radicchio and Kale salad with Apple Cider Vinegar Dressing. An easy side salad for your favorite fall dinner. Also including recipe to make quick candid pecans for salad.

Apple Kale Salad
Diet Info: DF GF F LF Na LS VG V Fa

This delicious salad has everything you want from a fall dinner side. Easy to assemble, loaded with fall flavors of Apple, Radicchio and Kale with sweet and sour Apple Cider Vinegar Dressing. It is often on rotation in our fall dinner menu. Gluten Free. Vegan. 

For crunch, I roast quick candid pecans for salad. (recipe included) You can also use raw or roasted walnuts. 

Apple Kale Salad

You know it's Autumn Season when fresh produce section of food stores is loaded with variety of seasonal apples and different kinds of kale. (my favorite moment) Also, the fresh sweet berries almost disappear. (not-so favorite moment) :-)

Today, I decided to bring to you the flavors of fall with this Kale Salad with Honey Crisp Apples and Radicchio. Salad is dressed in an easy and vibrant Apple Cider Vinegar dressing with maple syrup and tarragon. 

Autumn Kale Apple Salad

Such a delightful combination of flavors! Not only this recipe showcases the bright colors of season but also bursting with sweet and sour flavors. I'm sure you will love it.

What Do You Need For Apple Kale Salad?

There are three main parts of Apple Kale Salad recipe:

Ingredients for Apple Kale Salad

  1. Salad Vegetables - Honey Crisp Apples, Kale, and Radicchio.
  2. Apple Cider Vinegar and Tarragon Dressing
  3. Pecans or Walnuts - plain, salt roasted or quick candied (recipe follows)

Salad Vegetables:

I used three vegetables: 1) Dino Kale, 2) Honey Crisp Apples, 3) and Radicchio for this salad.

Kale: You can use Dino Kale or combination of kale. Kale greens are sturdy and withstand dressing very well. In fact, as kale sits in dressing, it is marinated and tastes even more delicious.  

Apples: Even though Granny Smith apples are popular Salad Apples. I love Honey Crisp Apple in salads even more. These are crisp and tart like Granny Smith but are also sharp sweet like honey. In my opinion, sweet and sour notes of these apples are perfect addition to any Fall Salad.

Radicchio: Radicchio leaves are slightly bitter and offer good contrast to the flavor of sweet apples. But if you don't like bitter vegetables, then go for a mild vegetable of this family such as - endive, cabbage, red cabbage. You can also use two kinds of kale and skip radicchio.

Apple Cider Vinegar Dressing:

This apple cider vinegar dressing recipe is very simple yet packs a punch of flavor. It gives kale the perfect sweet and sharp bite. Kale gets more flavorful as it sits in the dressing. I specially love the flavor of tarragon with sweet maple and apple vinegar. Very festive and fall-inspired. 

Ingredients Apple Cider Vinegar Dressing for Kale Salad

Here are the ingredients to make Apple Cider Vinegar Dressing:

  1. Apple Cider Vinegar
  2. Maple Syrup (pure syrup)
  3. Olive Oil
  4. Tarragon (fresh tarragon herb leaves)
  5. Garlic
  6. Salt and pepper

To make the dressing:

Add all ingredients in a salad bowl, whisk until oil and vinegar form an emulsion. Add herbs. Taste and adjust salt and pepper.

Kale Salad with Apple Cider Vinegar Dressing

TIP: If apple cider vinegar is too sour for your liking then try this - Balance the sharpness of Apple Cider Vinegar by using one part vinegar and one part lemon juice. Or You can replace all of apple cider vinegar with one part fresh apple cider (not spiced) and one part lemon juice.

Quick Candied Pecans for Salad:

I'm sharing here a recipe for quick candied pecans. But honestly, I often use plain raw or salt roasted or candied pecans or walnuts for this salad. If you don't like nuts, you can even go for salt roasted pepita seeds. 

For Candied Pecans you need:

  1. Pecans
  2. Powdered Sugar
  3. Salt and Pepper

To make candid pecans, preheat oven and line a baking sheet with parchment.

Recipe Candied Pecans for Apple Kale Salad

  1. Soak pecans in water. Imp: For best results, drain well (using a sieve) to remove most of the water. Pecans should be just wet but without water droplets.
  2. Add pecans to the bowl with sugar and pepper. Toss quickly to coat pecans in sugar.
  3. Spread on prepared baking sheet.
  4. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until pecans are slightly caramelized. Leave aside to cool completely. 

TIP: Candied Pecan, stored in air-tight container, are good for 2-3 weeks.

(Note: Please note that the raw pecans or walnuts are lower in calories than roasted/candied pecans. If you watching diet, skip candied pecans and go for raw nuts.)

Kale and Apple Salad

This Kale Salad is also a healthy, gluten free and vegan salad. Such salads make healthy addition to fall dinner. Plus leftovers are great to pack for lunch.

Friends, bring home the flavor of fall with this delicious, simple and vibrant Apple Kale Salad. This salad has so much to offer! I'm sure you will LOVE the combination of sweet and tart flavor of salad with Apple Cider Vinegar Dressing and crunchy Candied Pecans.

Happy Munching! -Savita x 

Serve Salad with:

Chicken Ratatouille Jerk Chicken with Amazing Jerk Marinade Roasted Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

Apple Kale Salad

5 (6 reviews)
Apple Kale Salad
Total Time: Prep Time: Cook Time: Cuisine: American () Difficulty: Easy
Yields: 8-9 Cups - Serves: 8
Nutrition: 265 calories per serving (Dressing Yields 1/2 cup.)

Ingredients

  • Topping
  • 1 Cup Pecans (See Note 2)
  • 1/3 Cup Powdered Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Black Pepper
  • Apple Kale Salad
  • 8 Oz Kale (stem removed, shredded )
  • 2 Apple (honey crisp, cored, sliced)
  • 2 Cup Radicchio (shredded)
  • Apple Cider Vinegar Dressing
  • 3 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 3 tbsp Maple Syrup
  • 3 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar (See Note 1)
  • 2 tbsp Tarragon (leaves, minced)
  • 1 tsp Garlic (1-2 clove, minced)
  • 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Salt (adjust to taste)

Directions

  • 1. Prepare for Candid Pecans Preheat oven at 375 degrees Fahrenheit. In a bowl, mix sugar, salt, pepper. Set aside. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Set aside. Soak pecans in water. Add to a sieve and shake well to drain all water. See Note 2, 3.
  • 2. Candy Pecans Add drained pecans to bowl with sugar mixture. Stir quickly to coat pecans in sugar. Spread on baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes or until pecans are slightly caramelized. Leave aside to cool completely.
  • 3. Make Apple Cider Vinegar Dressing In a wide salad bowl, add all dressing ingredients except tarragon leaves. Whisk briskly until olive oil and vinegar form a thick emulsion. Stir-in chopped tarragon leaves. Reserve 1/4 of dressing in a small bowl, leave remaining in the salad bowl. Set aside.
  • 4. Prepare Kale Salad Wash and dry kale leaves. Shred kale leaves and radicchio. Thin slice apple. Add kale, radicchio to the salad bowl with dressing. Coat kale in dressing then massage kale (rub in hands) for 30 seconds.
  • 5. Garnish and Serve Transfer salad to serving bowl. Top with sliced apples. Spoon reserved dressing on the apples. Top salad with candied pecans. Serve and enjoy!
Savita's Notes:
  1. Balanced Dressing: If apple cider vinegar is too sour for your liking, try this!
    Balance the sharpness of Apple Cider Vinegar by using one part vinegar and one part lemon juice. Or You can replace all of apple cider vinegar with one part fresh apple cider (not spiced) and one part lemon juice.
    To adjust per taste; start with 1 tbsp of vinegar, then taste and add more vinegar or use lemon juice.
  2. Quick Candid Pecans for Salad: Checkout how to candy pecans Step pictures in Post Description. For more flavor, add 1/4 tsp of cinnamon or for sweet and spicy, add 1/4 tsp of cayenne. For best results, drain soaked pecans well (using a sieve) to remove most of the water. Pecans should be just wet but without water droplets.
  3. Candied Pecans are optional. You can also use plain or salt roasted or raw walnuts for this salad. If you don't like nuts, you can even go for salted pepita seeds. Please note that the raw pecans or walnuts are lower in calories. If you watching diet, skip candied pecans and go for raw nuts.
  4. For Salted Roasted Pecans, use the same recipe as above. Only skip the sugar.
  5. Save leftovers in air-tight container. Kale Salad stays fresh up-to 2-3 days.
  6. Candied Pecan, stored in air-tight container, are good for 2-3 weeks.
  7. Optional: Garnish and serve with shaved parmesan cheese or pecorino.
DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE? Tag @SAVITACHEFDEHOME on Instagram and hashtag it #SAVITACHEFDEHOME

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12 Responses

  1. Loved the candied pecans. I did not have Radicchio and tarragon. So added extra kale and used thyme instead. The flavor of kale and apples was spot on! I'll be using this recipe whole season. Thank you.
    Thanks for letting me know. I'm glad you liked it.
  2. Beautiful salad for fall, and it would be perfect on the Thanksgiving table.
    It sure will! We even include this salad often in weeknight dinner.
  3. This is such a perfect Autumn salad! I also love that it stays fresh for several days, so I can make a big salad and have it ready for several lunches.
    Kale is a sturdy green which can hold dressing and will not wilt like spinach. If you ever want salad for multiple lunches, replace delicate greens with kale.
  4. Apple and kale go so well together and this salad looks incredible. So much texture to it.
    Thanks Danni. You will love the crunch of Candied Pecans. A must try!
  5. I bet the candied pecans take this salad to another level. Perfect for fall!
    Pecans are star in this salad.
  6. Love the sweetness from the pecans - such a great fall salad! Delicious as a side dish or with some added protein for a more filling lunch.
    You bet! Pecans steal the show. I often make big batch and pack for lunch.