Tender, clean massaged kale leaves are featured in this salad and enhanced with chopped tart apples, sweet dried cranberries, crunchy pepitas, and nutty Manchego cheese. The salad is brought together with a sweet and seasonal apple cider vinaigrette. It’s a dish that’s loaded with antioxidants to keep your immune system healthy and fiber to assist with regularity. Make it ahead and enjoy for up to 3 days. It’s easy to pack for lunch and can be paired with chicken, sirloin steak or pork tenderloin for a lean source of protein.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Yield: 6-8 servings
Serving size: 1 cup
Ingredients:For the vinaigrette:
- 3/4 cup fresh apple cider
- 1 whole clove garlic
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinaigrette
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Coarse Kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper
- 2 bunches kale, washed, stemmed and torn into bite-size pieces
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
- 2 small apples, chopped into 1" pieces (recommend Honeycrisp, Fuji, or Pink Lady)**
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1/3 cup roasted pepitas (buy pre-roasted in the bulk section of grocery store)
- 1/2 cup shredded manchego cheese
Directions:For the vinaigrette:
- In a medium saucepan, combine the cider, garlic, thyme, and cider vinegar.
- Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer until the liquid is reduced to 1/4 cup.
- Transfer cider mixture to a bowl and whisk in the Dijon mustard.
- Add the oil in a slow, steady stream while whisking until it is all incorporated.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Vinaigrette can be made up to 3 days ahead and stored in the refrigerator.
- Combine the kale, lemon juice, olive oil, and salt in a large bowl.
- Massage the liquid into the kale leaves with your fingers for about 2-3 minutes until the leaves start to look dark and shiny. The volume of the bowl will be reduced by about 1/3. This can be done up to 1 day ahead, store kale covered in the refrigerator.
- To assemble the salad, add the apples, cranberries, pepitas, and manchego to kale in a serving bowl. Add the apple cider vinaigrette and toss to combine. Serve immediately.