This salad is healthy, fresh and utterly delicious. If you look those words up in the dictionary, you'd see a picture of this salad!
As I sat at my computer and began writing this post, I pondered what to call this wonderful salad. I thought of three or four different names, but honestly, they all sounded so boring for such a crazy-delicious salad. Such a dilemma, right? So, you're just gonna have to trust me on this one!
Do you ever stand in the produce section at the grocery store and struggle to find a bunch or bag of something green that looks even remotely fresh? I'm in that situation quite frequently, especially at this time of year. Everything looks sort of wilted, wimpy or just plain unappetizing! And I find that, even if it's just starting to wilt or get wet, by the time I get ready to use it a day or two later, it's way past prime!
You probably look right past the big bag (or bunch) of curly kale. You'll find it at most stores, though it doesn't attract much attention. To me, it just might be one of the most frequently overlooked treasures at the grocery store. It's a sturdy green and doesn't seem to have much issue with getting wilty or wimpy (unless the store has a VERY slow turnover), so it's usually a sure bet for a fresh, healthy salad.
It took me a while to get into kale. I used it in soups and stews but otherwise, not so much. It definitely wasn't a go-to for fresh salads. All that changed a number of years ago when kale began to gain lots of popularity as a "super food". Super food is just a fancy term for foods that are nutrient dense, packing large amounts of antioxidants, polyphenols, vitamins, fiber and minerals, and kale seems to lead the pack in all of these categories.
I decided to incorporate more kale into our diet, but I have to admit, I wasn't super crazy about it. I learned to "massage" the kale to make it more tender. That helped, and we started enjoying more kale salads. But in the past year I've learned that just slicing it into super thin ribbons is all that's needed to, almost magically, tenderize and enhance the kale.
We enjoy lots of kale salads these days and right now, this Kale and Apple Salad is at the top of our favorites list. It's fresh, delicious and so easy to put together; just slice up a pile of kale, dice an apple and shake together a flavorful dressing in a little jar. Toss it all together, then a sprinkle of sesame seeds finishes if off, perfectly complimenting the sweet and spicy, Asian-inspired dressing.
I love that this simple salad goes with so many different entrees. We've enjoyed it with pizza, wings, chicken and salmon, as well as just on it's own. It would be a great way to brighten and freshen what I call, winter comfort food meals; soups, casseroles, stews, etc.
Kale is such a hearty green that the salad can be made up to a day in advance without wilting issues.
The dressing keeps the apples from discoloring and softening. Because the salad keeps so well, leftovers make a delicious and healthy lunch option.
Try this Kale and Apple Salad with Honey Ginger Dressing! It's so... good! It's bound to become a repeat performer at your house too. And if you come up with a better name, send it my way!
- For the dressing:
- ¼ cup rice vinegar
- ¼ cup honey
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped or grated fresh ginger if you're in a pinch, this fresh ginger in a tube works great
- 1 ½ teaspoons chili garlic sauce*
- ½ cup sunflower oil or other neutral flavored oil
- ¼ teaspoon finely ground black pepper
- For the salad:
- 6 ounces kale from a bag or bunch
- 2 medium red delicious apples
- 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
For the salad dressing, combine all ingredients in a glass jar and shake well.
For the salad, remove any stems and tough ribs from the kale. Bunch the kale up on a cutting board and, with a sharp knife, cut into very thin ribbons. Cut through the ribbons crosswise to make small pieces of kale. Place kale in a medium size serving bowl.
Core apples (don't peel) and dice into small pieces (about ⅓-1/2-inch size). Add apple to bowl with kale and toss.
Drizzle salad with about ¼ cup of the dressing. Toss to coat everything with the dressing. Taste and add more dressing if needed. Sprinkle salad with sesame seeds and toss one more time. Serve extra dressing at the table.
* Chile garlic sauce can be found in the Asian section at most larger grocers. If you have Sriracha sauce you could substitute 1-2 teaspoons of that along with a clove of minced garlic.