This Kale Harvest Salad features sweet blueberries, dried cranberries, toasted pecans and a tangy Apple Cider Vinaigrette!
Who says salad needs to be reserved for summer? This gorgeous harvest kale salad, rich with fruity flavors and varied textures is perfectly suited to fall. A versatile and nutritious side dish, a kale salad will make the perfect accompaniment for winter warmers and light lunches alike.
In fact, whether you’re looking for an alternative to the classic side salad or a light and healthy main meal, this quirky dish is bound to be a hit. It’s hard to go wrong with wonderfully contrasting seasonal cranberries, blueberries and a punchy apple cider vinaigrette, alongside crunchy kale and autumnal toasted pecans.
And what’s more, despite its expert combination of all the flavors of fall, this salad is super easy to prepare and keeps well in the refrigerator for up to three days, making it the perfect packed lunch option.
Ingredients in Harvest Kale Salad
- Apple Cider Vinaigrette
- Dried Cranberries
- Toasted Pecans
How do you prepare kale for a salad?
First of all, be sure to rinse your kale thoroughly with cold water and pat it dry. Next, you want to destem it, separating the leaves from the center stem.
An often overlooked but key step to making kale live up to its true potential is massage. Once you have your dressing prepared, carefully massage it into the kale leaves until they become darker, fragrant and more tender.
How do you make Apple Cider Vinaigrette?
Whipping up your own apple cider vinaigrette is super easy! All you need is olive oil, apple cider vinegar, salt, pepper and a sweetener of your choice such as honey, maple syrup or a low-carb alternative like monkfruit. Mix your ingredients together and give it a taste as you go along, making sure the flavor is just right for you.
Can you meal prep kale salad?
Absolutely! In fact, kale is ideal for meal prep as its texture becomes much less tough and bitter over time as it sits with the vinaigrette dressing.
For best results, prepare your kale and vinaigrette ahead of time (up to three days in advance), then add your blueberries, cranberries and toasted nuts just prior to serving – this avoids them spoiling or becoming soggy in the liquid.
A rich kale salad is the perfect option if you’re looking to prepare your lunches for a few busy days in advance!
What should I serve with Kale Salad?
Kale salad is a great way to mix up your side dishes, and will make the perfect accompaniment to a whole host of dinners. For example, why not serve up this seasonal salad alongside a hearty Pork Tenderloin with Grilled Herb Crusted Potatoes.
Alternatively, if you’re after a keto dinner option, One Pan Mushroom Chicken is the perfect main dish to serve with this kale salad rich in healthy fats. Some other ideas include:
Apple Cider Vinaigrette
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- salt to taste
- 6 cups torn kale, stems removed
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup fresh blueberries
- Combine all of the Apple Cider Vinaigrette in a jar, secure the lid and shake vigorously. Taste the dressing and adjust the sweetener, salt and pepper to your preferences. Set dressing aside.
- Melt the butter in a skillet over medium low heat. Add the pecans and stir to coat. Lightly salt the pecans. Allow the nuts to toast over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 6-8 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
- To make the salad combine the torn kale with about 1/3 of the dressing, use your hands to massage the dressing onto the leaves. This helps to tenderize the kale, resulting in a more tender, delicious salad.
- Add the cranberries, blueberries, toasted pecans and toss to coat.
- Add additional dressing if desired.
- This recipe makes more dressing than I usually use for the salad, the leftovers are excellent as a marinade or any other salad.
- I love to use Lacinato kale (also called Dinosaur kale) but this works with more common curly kale as well.
- This salad stores very well. Leftovers can be eaten 2-3 days after it is prepared. Over time the kale becomes even more tender.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 307Total Fat: 20gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 22gCholesterol: 5mgSodium: 216mgCarbohydrates: 24gFiber: 5gSugar: 19gProtein: 4g