I went to a catered lunch meeting a few weeks ago. Those words – “catered lunch meeting” – normally mean I will go without food for the duration of the event. Whether it’s a sandwich lunch or salads with croutons, gluten is normally on the menu and it’s just easier for me to eat when I get home.DSC06355

So I was pleasantly surprised when I saw a gorgeous Kale & Apple Salad with Cider Vinaigrette on the menu. It looked fantastic and because they had listed out the ingredients, I knew it was GF. I ate two plates of it.

Not two servings. Two full plates of it.

As soon as I got done scarfing it down, I declared, “I am so making this at home.”

So here is my re-created version. Mind you, it is a very tangy, tart dish. My version is actually a tinge mellower than the one at the luncheon was. But that little bite is all part of the magic!

UPDATE: I’ve had a couple of questions about why I don’t instruct you to massage the kale. If you want to take that step, go for it. Between the chopping into bite-sized pieces and sitting in an acidic dressing, I don’t think it’s necessary because the kale is quite chewable. But, my bias is that I eat kale a lot and I don’t mind having it be firm. If your peeps would like it softer, then massage away. I would do it before you chop, though, because if you are chopping well, it’ll be too small to really work around well afterwards.

Kale & Apple Salad
  • ⅓ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp honey (optional)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ¼ tsp. ground mustard
  • ½ tsp salt plus more to taste
  • ⅔ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 bunch curly leaf kale
  • 2 small tart and firm green apples, preferably Granny Smith
  • ½ tsp. whole mustard seeds
  • black pepper, to taste
  1. Add vinegar through salt to blender. Blend vigorously until garlic is barely visible and ingredients are well-mixed.
  2. Turn blender to low and slowly drizzle in olive oil.
  3. Set dressing aside.
  4. Chop kale into bite-sized pieces. You want them very small, as texture is a key part of this dish.
  5. Place kale in large bowl and add dressing. Toss to mix well.
  6. Add mustard seeds. Toss well.
  7. Set aside.
  8. Do not peel apples. Cut them into small, matchstick-sized pieces.
  9. Add apples to salad and toss to combine.
  10. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  11. Serve immediately or refrigerate overnight.

You can find this and other yummies at Nourishing Joy’s Thank Goodness It’s Monday #63 here!

12 Responses to “Kale & Apple Salad”

  1. on 24 Mar 2014 at 8:27 amMonica

    This looks so yummy! Definitely giving that a try.

    But on a commiserating note, why DO catered events have to be so gluten heavy? We went to an event at a very swanky locale Saturday night and the ONLY vegetable on the dinner buffet was the broccoli in the mac ‘n cheese topping bar. Seriously.

  2. on 24 Mar 2014 at 5:51 pmKristine Rudolph

    And often, even when there are veggies out, they are sprayed with sulfites or showered in MSG for “flavor.” I usually eat before or after events lest I end up feeling dreadful.

  3. on 24 Mar 2014 at 9:13 amjanetpesaturo

    Thanks for sharing this on Thank Goodness it’s Monday. I love kale, and recently posted my own version of kale salad on my blog. Yours looks great too, and I look forward to trying it.

  4. on 24 Mar 2014 at 8:23 pmKelly Cummins

    Do you massage your kale? It’s strange to ask, but most raw kale recipes that I’ve come across require a little more hands on work to tenderize the leaves and make them more receptive to the dressing. Sounds like a delicious recipe either way.

  5. on 24 Mar 2014 at 8:46 pmKristine Rudolph

    No I didn’t because the dressing is so acidic it macerates the leaves enough. I don’t know it would work as well with lacinato, though, so I specify curly leaf.

  6. […] Kale Apple Salad from Kristine […]

  7. on 05 Apr 2014 at 6:40 pmSandi

    I’m Pepperplating this.

  8. on 06 Apr 2014 at 2:35 pmKristine Rudolph


  9. on 20 May 2014 at 6:38 amMonica

    Made this last night and the hubby and I gobbled it up. The boys are less interested in “leaves” (texture thing, I think – very few green varieties they’ll eat raw – since they love kale other ways I prepare it), but loved the apples in it and dressing.

  10. on 20 May 2014 at 10:46 amKristine Rudolph

    We have texture issues here, too, so I understand. But here it’s the creamy stuff. OK, that’s more guac for MAMA!

  11. on 04 Jun 2014 at 9:05 pmKelly Cummins

    Finally made this recipe this evening. It’s delicious! After reevaluating my diet, I’m earnestly trying to incorporate more nutritionally dense recipes into my weekly menu planning. This is a real winner!

  12. on 04 Jun 2014 at 9:14 pmKristine Rudolph

    I am so glad that you enjoyed it! Thanks for popping in to comment. Hope the kiddos enjoyed it, too!

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