Creamy Kale Harvest Salad

This is probably one of my favorite salads I’ve ever made for Thanksgiving. It’s substantial, made from mostly Tuscan kale (my favorite kale) so it’ll help you feel like you’re eating at least something good during the holidays. But it’s still creamy and packed with flavor. I am not a fan of salads that feel like a chore to eat and this is surely not one of those!

Along with the Tuscan kale, there are plenty of fall-time flavors in this salad, like pecans, apples, and dried cranberries. Yum!

Creamy Kale Harvest Salad, serves 6-8

2 bunches of Tuscan kale (enough to fill a medium/large mixing bowl)
2 avocados
1 Granny Smith apple
2/3 cup pecans
2/3 cup dried cranberries
For the dressing:
1/2 cup olive oil
3 lemons (approx. 1/3 cup lemon juice)
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon mayo or greek yogurt
1 teaspoon poppy seeds
salt and pepper

Remove the middle stem and any large veins from the kale leaves and finely chop. (I like to use kitchen shears for this.) The goal here is to remove any parts that wouldn’t be fun to chew through and to really chop it up well.

To make the dressing, add the following to a food processor: flesh of one avocado (remove the skin and seed), lemon juice, garlic powder, honey, apple cider vinegar, mayo or greek yogurt, and poppy seeds. Pulse to combine. Add the olive oil in a slow, steady stream with the food processor turned on if possible. If your processor doesn’t allow this, you can simply add it in batches. Taste and add salt and pepper to your liking (love pretty copper measuring cups for cooking).

Cube the avocado, removing the skin and seed. Chop the apple, removing the core. Give the pecans a rough chop. In a large mixing bowl or serving bowl, combine the kale, avocado, apple, pecans, and dried cranberries. Drizzle in the dressing, toss well before serving, and serve with some pretty salad tongs.

I love this salad and can’t wait to try and figure out how to make a smaller version for weeknight dinners because it’s just too good not to eat all year round! xo. Emma

5 from 1 vote
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Creamy Kale Harvest Salad

Ingredients

  • 2 bunches of Tuscan kale enough to fill a medium/large mixing bowl
  • 2 avocados
  • 1 Granny Smith apple
  • 2/3 cup pecans
  • 2/3 cup dried cranberries
  • For the dressing:
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 3 lemons approx. 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon mayo or greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon poppy seeds
  • salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Remove the middle stem and any large veins from the kale leaves and finely chop. (I like to use kitchen shears for this.) The goal here is to remove any parts that wouldn't be fun to chew through and to really chop it up well.

  2. To make the dressing, add the following to a food processor: flesh of one avocado (remove the skin and seed), lemon juice, garlic powder, honey, apple cider vinegar, mayo or greek yogurt, and poppy seeds. Pulse to combine. Add the olive oil in a slow, steady stream with the food processor turned on if possible. If your processor doesn't allow this, you can simply add it in batches. Taste and add salt and pepper to your liking.

  3. Cube the avocado, removing the skin and seed. Chop the apple, removing the core. Give the pecans a rough chop. In a large mixing bowl or serving bowl, combine the kale, avocado, apple, pecans, and dried cranberries. Drizzle in the dressing and toss well before serving.

Credits // Author: Emma Chapman. Photography: Elise Randolph. Photos edited with ACS for Desktop.
https://dj4o32igdm3ny.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/09101944/kale-salad.jpg
  • I can’t believe I haven’t thought of this combination before. This is perfect for Thanksgiving, where so many dishes are shades of brown and orange. A shot of green will make a much prettier plate.
    I have a couple of tips: First, if you think your kale might be too tough to eat raw, steam it or put it in boiling water for just a few seconds. This will tenderize the kale just a bit. Don’t worry, it will still be chewy. That’s what I love about kale. It doesn’t turn to mush like spinach does.
    Also, in most of the country you can grow kale outdoors all winter. I have harvested kale in January from under a foot of snow. It doesn’t look great when you bring it inside, but it tastes wonderful. And it’s so nice to have really fresh greens in winter.
    Thanks for a great recipe.

  • It looks so good that I think I will eat a bushel of it, but isn’t 2 bushels of kale more than is necessary? Here in the Midwest, a bushel basket is HUGE! Like, if you fill it with apples, it takes two people to carry it (one handle on each side). Love your blog and your happy start to my day.

  • Oops! I think you mean “bunches” rather than bushel. A bushel is several gallons! Recipe looks great, though!

  • this is perfect timing! I am in charge of making a side dish for our company pot luck next week and this is exactly the recipe I was hoping to find! easy and super nutritious. thank you!

  • YUM YUM YUM! SO good! I love a delicious creamy Kale salad! Have you guys tried Trader Joe’s Kale and Broccoli slaw? I eat it like a salad and only add a teeny bit of the dressing. It is SO good and easy to eat for lunch in a pinch.

    http://www.shessobright.com

  • This looks so tasty! I have been slacking on getting my greens in lately, so I’ll have to try this recipe out. A crunch factor is a MUST for salads — nuts are my fave topping, and I’m sure pecans are delicious on this one!

    Mia | http://www.verymuchmia.com

  • Love this recipe! About to buy your new cookbook to add to my collection of your other books.

    So happy to come back to this Blog from time to time and see you are still writing such great content.

    Also, CONGRATS to you Elsie and Jeremy on your upcoming adoption of Nova xox

  • Thank you for this great recipe!! Looks so delicious!!
    I’m in love with kale and so thankful for each new idea 🙂
    Greetings
    Isabell