Or as I like to call it – “Fall in a Bowl”
This Kale Apple Salad has it all. You probably know by now that I need my salads to not be boring and this one is anything but. It’s hearty and it’s bright. It’s tart, salty, sweet and a little spicy. The nuts and apples provide loads of crunch, the bacon and feta provide salty richness, and the sweet-tart apple cider vinegar & maple syrup dressing brings it all together beautifully. Perfect for fall, or anytime… like right now.
This salad is just the epitome of Fall to me. It’s all the apples and the maple syrup and yes, as a matter of fact I did consider adding in pumpkin pie spice and calling it a “Pumpkin Spice Salad” but I thought that might be going just a smidge too far. I’m not sure I’d ever do that. But don’t hold me to it. 😉
this kale apple salad recipe, how to make it…
Stay with me here. There are a few steps to this salad but they are not hard and they’re worth it. They are the reason this salad is not boring.
Step 1 is to make the nuts. You can use whatever nuts and seeds you like but I am partial to the walnut-pepita-sunflower combo that for some reason seems appropriate for fall. All you have to do is simmer a little butter and maple syrup together and then mix in your nuts/seeds along with a little salt and a little cinnamon and maybe more than a little cayenne, but that’s up to you. We’ll set these aside to cool.
Step 2 is to make the dressing and all you have to do is quickly whisk up some apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, mustard, olive oil and salt and pepper. Set this aside too.
Step 3 is salad assembly. Pick out a good fall-appropriate salad bowl and toss in some kale, apple, onion, feta and bacon. Toss in your Step 1 nuts, drizzle over your Step 2 dressing and toss it all together.
Put on your coziest Fall sweater and dig in.
kale apple salad Recipe ingredients, tips, substitutions:
Kale – if you’re one of the kale haters of the world you probably should never come to my house. I loooooove the stuff. But if you really can’t handle it then you can use another green for this salad. Spinach, butter lettuce, arugula, shredded brussels sprouts, romaine… they’re all good.
Apples – pick something crisp and sweet like Ambrosia, Pink Lady or Honeycrisp.
Nuts & Seeds – I use a combination of walnuts, pepitas and sunflower seeds, but feel free to branch out. Almonds, pistachios, pecans, sesame seeds… anything goes.
Bacon – I like a good, thick-cut bacon, but use any bacon you like or sub in prosciutto or speck. Omit the bacon completely if you want to keep this vegetarian.
Feta – I will not stop you from mixing up the cheese here. Goat cheese is delicious as is parmesan, asiago or even a good, stinky blue.
looking for more kale recipes that will make you fall in love with kale? boy have you come to the right place…
- Miso Fried Rice with Brown Butter, Crispy Kale and Mushrooms
- Tahini Kale Salad with Roasted Sweet Potato, Quinoa & Feta
- Kale Cucumber “Seaweed” Salad
- Warm Mushroom and Kale Salad with Blue Cheese and Crispy Torn Croutons
- Kale Beet Salad with Avocado and Crispy Blue Cheese Crumbs
- Just head up to the top of the page and search “kale” and you’ll find a whole lot more… I told you, I love it.
Kale Apple Salad with Spicy Maple Nuts and Bacon
For the nuts*:
- 1/2 cup nuts and/or seeds
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 1 Tbsp maple syrup
- pinch cayenne
- pinch cinnamon
- pinch salt
For the dressing:
- 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 Tbsp maple syrup
- 1 Tbsp grainy mustard
- 1/3 cup olive oil
For the salad:
- 1 bunch Kale sliced into ribbons
- 1 large apple** thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup red onion sliced
- 1/2 cup nuts/seeds***
- 1/2 cup feta cheese crumbled
- 4 slices thick-cut bacon chopped and cooked
Make the nuts:
- Melt the butter in a pan and add in the maple syrup. Bring to a simmer and let bubble for a minute.
- Add in the nuts/seeds and stir until the nuts are completely coated.
- Add in a pinch of cinnamon, a pinch of salt and a big pinch of cayenne. Toss again.
- Remove to a plate lined with parchment and let cool.
Make the dressing:
- In a bowl combine the apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, mustard, olive oil and a big pinch each of salt and pepper.
- Whisk well. Set aside.
Make the salad:
- In a large bowl combine the kale, apple, onion, nuts, feta and bacon.
- Pour the dressing over the salad, toss well and serve immediately.
Let me know what you think below and if you like this Kale Apple Salad Recipe then I know you’ll love my Air Fried Apples Recipe. They’re my new favourite apple recipe and you won’t believe how good they are.