Creamy Apple + Kale Salad

Creamy Apple and Kale Salad (click through for recipe) Typically I order (or make) a salad because I’m trying to eat healthy. Maybe I’ve eaten a bunch of junk lately, or I’m anticipating eating a bunch of (holiday) junk soon. So I figure I better get some greens inside me. 

So, I wouldn’t say I view eating salad as a chore, but it’s not really a food group I jump for joy over either. Until I made this salad. 

Creamy Apple and Kale Salad (click through for recipe)This salad is something you will look forward to eating. No, I’m not joking. It’s seriously that good. And it even has kale in it, which if you don’t know, kale is notorious for being nutritious, trendy, and really not that fun to eat. Or at least I thought so until I made this salad.

Can you tell I really love this salad? 

Best kale saladCreamy Apple + Kale Salad, serves 2 as a meal or 4 as a side

4 to 4 1/2 cups chopped kale (heaping cups)
1-2 apples, granny smith is best for this recipe
1/4 cup dried blueberries (or craisins, just not raisins because I don’t like them)
1/3 to 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

For the dressing:
3 cloves of garlic
3 egg yolks
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons olive oil
salt + pepper to taste

I taste-tested this on quite a few folks at our office, and they all loved it and wanted to know what the dressing was. Many of them remarked that it tasted similar to Caesar dressing, which was a pretty good guess as it’s very similar. I like to think of this as a vegetarian and more garlic-y Caesar dressing.

Vegetarian cesear dressingIn a food processor, combine the garlic, yolks, mustard, and vinegar. Process until well combined and the garlic cloves are well chopped. With the mixture turned on, slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Taste and add salt and pepper to your liking.

Remove the veins from the kale and give it a fine chop. Thinly slice the apples as well. I left the skin on, but you could remove it if you prefer. Toss the kale, apples, and blueberries with the dressing so everything gets coated well. Then sprinkle on the cheese.

Creamy Apple and Kale Salad (click through for recipe) This is best served immediately, you don’t want the dressing to soften the kale and apples too much. Keep it crunchy. If you are planning to make your dressing earlier in the day (or the night before), you can store it separate from the salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator. 

Make this so you can feel good about all the Halloween candy and holiday treats we’re bound to consume in the next few months! xo. Emma

Credits // Author and Photography: Emma Chapman. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.

Creamy Apple and Kale Salad

Servings 4

Ingredients

  • 4 to 4 1/2 cups chopped kale heaping cups
  • 1-2 apples granny smith is best for this recipe
  • 1/4 cup dried blueberries or craisins, just not raisins because I don't like them
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

For the dressing:

  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt + pepper to taste

Instructions

  • I taste-tested this on quite a few folks at our office, and they all loved it and wanted to know what the dressing was. Many of them remarked that it tasted similar to Caesar dressing, which was a pretty good guess as it's very similar. I like to think of this as a vegetarian and more garlic-y Caesar dressing.
  • In a food processor, combine the garlic, yolks, mustard, and vinegar. Process until well combined and the garlic cloves are well chopped. With the mixture turned on, slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Taste and add salt and pepper to your liking.
  • Remove the veins from the kale and give it a fine chop. Thinly slice the apples as well. I left the skin on, but you could remove it if you prefer. Toss the kale, apples, and blueberries with the dressing so everything gets coated well. Then sprinkle on the cheese.
  • I adore kale salad and this version looks wonderful. The apples are just what kale needs to help convince the haters to become lovers instead.

  • Here in Nebraska, we’ve had a freeze, but our kale in the garden is still going strong! Between Halloween candy and rich Christmas foods, you’re right that a good lot of greens out to be going into our bodies! Thanks for this recipe! (I have a recipe on my blog for “massaged kale salad with pomegranate seeds” if you ever get bored with this one!

  • I made this tonight as a side to easy Kale quiche for dinner! They were both amazing and complimented each other so well! I added palmagranate to the salad for a touch of color and really liked the flavor they added! My mother in law raved about both! Thanks so much for making my dinner a huge success!
    Xoxo
    Kimberly

  • This looks good. Is it lunch time yet?
    http://wherebeautymeetsbrains.blogspot.com/

  • I don’t know about substitute, but FYI it is possible to buy pasteurized eggs which are safe for pregnant ladies to eat raw.

  • I actually find that I like kale salads when the leaves are NOT crunchy. My aunt taught me this trick to massage the kale in 1T of honey and 1T of olive oil for about three minutes. That is, of course, when you’re not using your amazing dressing recipe.

  • Yes! I don’t really like kale, but I massaged it while preparing this dish and it definitely helps! I didn’t even massage it with oil.

  • I just made this and I’m loving it. My only comment is, there is too much garlic in the dressing. Maybe my cloves were just really big. I’m a garlic lover, so it’s not really a problem, but other people might be put off by it.

    I was really reluctant with the uncooked egg yolks, but I did it anyway! Thanks for helping me get over my fear!

  • Just made this salad with toasted hazelnuts instead of dried fruit, AND made the butternut squash pasta to go with it! Perfect fall combo, and this salad does a great job balancing the rich sweetness of the squash. The full meal was a gift to a new mom who’s baby is only a few days old, and it was great giving her such a well-rounded homemade meal. Thanks for making these recipes special yet attainable for us home cooks!

    p.s. major props for creating a vegetarian friendly caesar substitute!

  • I am loving big healthy doses of Kale as it always perks me up 🙂 Bec x
    www.dancingthroughsunday.com.au

  • I definitely would look forward to eating this – and anything with kale in it for that matter. We went apple picking today and I’m scouting for recipes to put the apples to good use. This is getting bookmarked! Thanks!

  • this looks really good! yummy and healthy. thanks for sharing!

    SundayswithStephanie.blogspot.com

  • Looks delicious, I love kale! Emma, how do you keep track of your recipes? I’m trying to find a way to have all my recipes in one place, besides my computer, written down somewhere. Any cute suggestions?

  • I love kale, but I often avoid making it into a salad because it’s so difficult to make it taste like I’m not gnawing on a tree… But I love the idea of this dressing and the sweet tartness of the apples; I’m pretty sure I’ll like this one!

    <3 dani
    http://streetcredfood.blogspot.com

  • I’m loving that kale has beccome such a popular salad green. Beautiful salad!

  • Kale is amazing to have!
    Thanks for the recipe. Pinned to remember to do it one day!

  • This looks delicious– I’m having some for dinner tonight! 🙂
    Keep up the great work!
    XOXO,
    Isabella (http://jarofturquoisesunshine.com)

  • I really want to try this salad but I’m 6 months pregnant. Any suggestions on a substitution for the egg yolks in the dressing?

  • I want to make this! I love kale – even just coated in olive oil and baked into chips so this looks amazingly delicious. Thanks for the recipe!

  • This recipe looks great! I like to massage kale whenever I eat it in salads as well. It helps break it down a little and takes some bitterness out.

  • This salad looks yummy… don’t like kale much, but this makes me wanna try..

    xo
    Hems
    agoldentulip.blogspot.com

  • I would never have thought of adding apples to kale. Will definitely try this!

  • oh yay!! I am glad you found it helpful 🙂 I am right there with you, sista 🙂

  • This looks like the perfect fall salad.
    I will be giving it a go! Maybe even with some steamed squash cubes for some more color.
    -E

    http://amie-eo.blogspot.com

  • That looks amazing but almost scarily healthy 🙂 I would need a big bowl of ice-cream afterwards to still feel like myself 🙂

    Love from bella Italia!

    http://lasagnolove.blogspot.it

  • Now this looks delicious! That dressing sounds amazing; I’ll just be leaving out the dried fruit because I don’t like it, plus its all sugar

    www.littleblackshell.com

  • Haha, I was actually just googling kale recipes last night! It’s delicious in smoothies, but I find the taste to be a little bitter on its own. I love the idea of adding some sweetness with an apple. I’ll definitely be giving this a try!

    Cat
    http://oddlylovely.com

  • Thanks so much for this tip, Michelle! I find the taste to be a little difficult (unless it’s ground up in a smoothie, haha), so I’m willing to try anything!

  • I would like to go on record as vouching for how amazing this salad was – and I don’t even really like kale very much!! This may have been the best salad I’ve ever had in my life. Well done Emma!! xo – Sarah

  • I am laughing at myself because I was just looking for a no cook, kale salad recipe to make at a food demo for a farmer’s market. I went with something else, submitted it and then saw this! Looks yummy!
    A good tip for people who are afraid to eat kale. Give it a little TLC by massaging it with some oil for a few minutes. It breaks down its structure a little bit and its easier on the palate. I personally tend to enjoy kale in a salad when its had a little rub down first, lol.

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