Welcome the arrival of fall with my Tuscan Kale and Apple Salad. This dish uses Tuscan kale (also known as lacinato or dinosaur kale) but if you can’t find it, you can use curly kale. The kale is paired with apples, which are in season this time of year, as well as dried cranberries, sunflower seeds and almonds. The salad is topped off with shaved Piave, which is an Italian cheese that adds a nice salty bite.
I like to dress the salad with a simple vinaigrette made with olive oil, cider vinegar, dijon mustard and a touch of honey. Because the kale is raw, when you add the dressing, massage it into the leaves. It will not only help the kale absorb the dressing, it will also help break down the leaves and tenderize them. To read all about the nutritional benefits of kale, CLICK HERE.
Tuscan Kale and Apple Salad
Makes 4 servings
1 bunch (10 ounces) Tuscan (also called Lacinato) kale
1 medium apple like Fuji or Honeycrisp, diced
2 tablespoons reduced-sugar dried cranberries
4 teaspoons sunflower seeds
2 tablespoons sliced almonds
1 ounce firm cheese like Piave, Parmigiano-Reggiano or Manchego, shaved with a vegetable peeler
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon honey
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
To make the dressing, whisk the vinegar, mustard, honey and oil together in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
To make the salad, remove the kale leaves from the stems and discard the stems. Slice the leaves thinly (you should have about 5 cups). Place the kale in a salad bowl and add the dressing. Massage the dressing into the kale, coating all of the leaves well. This will help the kale absorb the dressing and also help tenderize the leaves. Add the apple, dried cranberries, sunflower seeds and almonds and toss to combine. Sprinkle the cheese on top and serve.