Kale Salad
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  • Food: Kale Salad
  • Writer Nicolas Wilson
  • Content-Type: Food Blog

I have a deep fondness for kale salads. Salads with kale make me happy. They’re a staple in my diet, and I’ll never get tired of them. Kale salads, I tell you, are the solution to all of life’s ills.

Is it too hot outside to cook? Salad of kale Jeans that are too tight? Salad of kale Do you have a stomachache?

Salad of kale Are you dangling? Do you want to eat your problems away? Salad of kale Don’t know what to bring to a paleo, gluten-free, or vegetarian-friendly potluck? “Kaaaale

There are a few tips for preparing a delicious kale salad, which I’ve detailed below. I’m ecstatic every time a real-life friend or commenter tells me that one of my kale salad recipes introduced them to kale salads in general.

Kale Salad easy
Food: Kale Salad (Source: Eatwell 101)

This is the fourth kale salad I’ve posted on my blog, and it won’t be the last. It’s hearty and festive, with crunch from crisp apple, radish, and walnuts, sweet, ruby red cranberries, tangy crumbled goat cheese, and a zippy honey mustard dressing. What’s not to like about that?

The recipe is from Deb Perelman’s Smitten Kitchen Cookbook, from which many more recipes will be forthcoming. If you’ve found your way to this food blog, I’m guessing you’re already familiar with Smitten Kitchen.

Simply put, Deb’s blog is the greatest. To be honest, I’m not sure why anyone (including myself) bothers with food blogging when Deb has perfected it.

Her prose is enthralling and smart. Her dishes are always fantastic, both in terms of thought and execution. When you find yourself salivating over her blog, you’ll want to drop whatever you’re doing and rush into the kitchen.

I had been looking forward to her cookbook’s release for months, and now that I have my copy on my coffee table, I can say that it is fantastic.

Deb has painstakingly tested and photographed each dish, and she never disappoints. This cookbook is a must-have for everyone who enjoys cooking.

If you’re stumped for holiday gift ideas, this cookbook is a good choice. Seriously. Did I mention she has a complete vegetarian section as well as 90 pages of desserts?

Given the season and what I had in my cupboard, I made a few changes to Deb’s kale salad recipe. I substituted dried cranberries for the dried cherries and added a diced Granny Smith apple.

I also used apple cider vinegar for white wine vinegar, though I’m not sure I can tell the difference in the finished product.

I’m making this salad for a girls’ night in Downton Abbey this evening, and I’ll be making it again for Thanksgiving with my family. It’s a definite winner.

Kale Salad with Apple, Cranberries, and Pecans

Time to Prepare: 20 minutes

20-minute total time

A hearty, holiday-worthy raw kale salad tossed in a zippy honey mustard dressing with chopped Granny Smith apple, cranberries, toasted walnuts, and goat cheese. It’s both gluten-free and vegetarian.



  • ½ cup pecans
  • 8 ounces kale (I used regular curly green kale, but Deb recommends Cavolo Nero or Lacinato, Dinosaur, or Tuscan Kale)
  • 4 to 5 medium radishes
  • ½ cup dried cranberries (or dried cherries)
  • 1 medium Granny Smith apple
  • 2 ounces soft goat cheese, chilled


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 ½ tablespoon apple cider vinegar (or white wine vinegar)
  • 1 tablespoon smooth Dijon mustard
  • 1 ½ teaspoon honey or maple syrup
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Instructions for Kale Salad

Kale Salad Yum
Food: Kale Salad (Source: Eatwell 101)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and put the pecans out on a baking sheet. Toast them for 5 to 10 minutes, until gently brown and fragrant, stirring once or twice to ensure equal baking. Remove the tray from the oven and place it on a cooling rack.
  2. Remove the rough stems from the kale leaves and discard them. Chop the kale into small, bite-sized pieces with a chef’s knife. Place the leaves in a large salad bowl. Sprinkle a pinch of sea salt over the kale and lightly compress large handfuls of leaves at a time with your hands until the leaves are deeper in color and fragrant.
  3. Slice the radishes very thinly (this is easier to do if you first chop off the root end so you can place the base of the radish flat against your cutting board). Toss them into the mixing basin.
  4. Add the pecans and cranberries (or cherries) to the bowl after coarsely chopping them. Add the apple to the bowl as well, chopped into small, bite-sized pieces. Over the top, crumble the goat cheese.
  5. Whisk together the dressing ingredients in a small bowl and pour over the salad. Toss the salad until it is evenly coated in the dressing. Serve right away, or let the salad marinate in the dressing for 10 to 20 minutes for even more flavor.


The recipe is derived from Deb Perelman’s The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook.

TO MAKE IT VEGAN: Leave out the goat cheese and replace the honey in the dressing with maple syrup.