Baby Kale Salad with Apples and Walnuts
Apple season has kicked off and there are lots of varieties available now! Baby Kale with Apple and Walnuts bridges the gap between summer and fall with fresh salad flavors and autumn produce.
And these apples: they’re cosmic.
Cosmic Crisp Apples
Have you had the new apple in town? It’s called Cosmic Crisp, a cross between Honeycrisp and Enterprise apples. The development of this variety took 20 years.
These apples were developed in Washington State University’s tree fruit breeding program. I know, that sounds a little franken-apple-y but so does a lot of horticulture. The good news is these are non-GMO and the organic ones are not waxed.
My husband is kind of an apple connoisseur. He grew up eating fresh apples from the orchard near his family’s home in Oregon. So, apples from the grocery store are usually no bueno to him.
However, these apples (which, yes, I purchased at my local grocery store) taste both tart and sweet. The texture is crisp and juicy. Plus, they are so pretty!
Cosmic Crisp is my hubby’s new favorite apple.
But kale is a different story.
Baby Kale Salad
I had never heard of kale until the early 2000s. Remember the kale salad that started it all with raw kale, finely grated Pecorino Romano cheese, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, and toasted bread crumbs? So delicious!
The next decade brought all kinds of kale everything: kale chips, massaged kale salads, sauteed kale, and more. Some kale is curly and some are bumpy, but what they have in common is the tough stem running through the middle of the leaves. This center rib is usually removed prior to chopping.
Except for baby kale.
Awww. Even the name is cute. Baby kale.
These are the smaller, thinner leaves on an immature kale plant. The leaves are tender and can be eaten raw like you would lettuce, spinach, or arugula. And no chopping is required!
- If you can’t find baby kale at your grocery store, you can use chopped curly or Lacinato kale. Or whatever greens you want.
- The sumac red onions are fast, easy, and provide another layer of flavor. I know it’s another step, but seriously, you are putting together the other salad ingredients anyway while they quickly marinate. Do it once, then decide.
- Adjust the lemon juice amount in the dressing to your taste. The first time I made this with 3 tablespoons of lemon juice; it was a bit too puckery, even for me. Play around and find what is best for you and your family.
Many thanks to chef Michael Solomonov for his kale salad recipe.Print
- ¼ cup red onion, sliced thinly
- 1 tsp red wine vinegar
- ⅛ tsp ground sumac
- 2 cups baby kale
- ½ cup chopped parsley
- ½ cup chopped apple, skin on
- ½ cup chopped walnuts
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 2 tsp honey
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- Place onion, vinegar, and sumac in a small bowl and toss to combine. Set aside to let it marinate while you assemble the salad.
- Arrange kale and parsley on a platter or individual serving plates. Top with apple and walnut pieces. Distribute onions evenly over the salad.
- Combine lemon juice, oil, mustard, honey, and salt in a small bowl or a jar with a screw-top lid. Mix to incorporate all the ingredients, then pour over the salad.