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This Winter Kale Salad will quickly become your favorite wintertime side dish. It features kale, apple, pecans, and pomegranate seeds and is drizzled in a simple yet flavorful red wine vinegar dressing.
If you didn’t already know, I am absolutely obsessed with kale salads. They’re so versatile, and the texture is so much better than spinach (in my opinion).
Maybe you’re looking for an easy yet healthy holiday side/salad recipe? Well, this is it!
- An easy, tasty way to eat kale (definitely NOT a boring kale salad)
- Topped with winter seasonal ingredients like pecans, apple and pomegranate
- Ready in just 10 minutes, and can be enjoyed on its own or as a side to garlic salmon, vodka rigatoni or vegan eggplant parmesan
Kale – I like using lacinato kale, but I find that curly kale can be a bit easier to find; either variety works in this recipe
Apple – I used Gala (they’re my favorite) — feel free to use your favorite kind
Pecans – can sub walnuts of almonds if you prefer
Goat cheese – could use gorgonzola or feta too
First: Massage the kale. This is the first step to every kale salad — don’t skip it! Drizzle the olive oil over the kale (no more than 1 tbsp or else it’ll get soggy), then use your hands to massage it, similarly to how you knead dough for bread. Do this for 30 seconds and the kale should be good to go!
Second: Make the dressing. Whisk olive oil, red wine vinegar, maple syrup, salt, and pepper together, then set it aside.
Third: Assemble the salad. Add the sliced apple, pecans, shallot, goat cheese, and pomegranate seeds to the bowl with the kale. Drizzle HALF of the dressing over top, then use kitchen tongs to toss everything together.
Before serving, top the salad off with the remaining pecans, shallot and dressing.
-Massaging kale is exactly what it sounds like: use both hands to massage the oil into the kale.
-If you don’t want to use olive oil, you can use avocado oil instead. Personally, I like the flavor olive oil provides in salads, but avocado oil is a decent substitution.
Massaging kale breaks down the bitterness of it, which not only makes it taste better, but also makes it easier to digest.
Yep! But, I’d wait to add the apple until right before serving; otherwise, it’ll turn brown.
This salad is vegan-friendly minus the cheese. So, either omit the cheese or substitute with your favorite dairy-free cheese.
More kale recipes
If you made this recipe, be sure to leave a comment and star rating below. Thanks!
Winter Kale Salad
- 1 bunch lacinato kale
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 apple sliced
- 1/2 cup pecans divided
- 1/3 cup shallot sliced, divided
- 3 tbsp goat cheese plus more for topping
- 2 tbsp pomegranate seeds plus more for topping
for the dressing:
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1 tsp maple syrup
- pinch of salt and pepper
- Use your hands to break the kale into bite-sized pieces, removing the stems and placing the kale into a large bowl. Drizzle the kale with olive oil, then use your hands to massage the kale for at least 30 seconds, which will help break down the bitterness of the kale.
- Next, make the dressing. Whisk olive oil, vinegar, maple syrup, salt, and pepper together in a bowl; set aside.
- Add the apple, HALF of the pecans, HALF of the shallot, goat cheese, and pomegranate seeds to the bowl with the kale. Then, pour HALF of the dressing into the bowl and use kitchen tongs to gently toss everything together.
- Top the salad with the remaining pecans and shallots, and reserve the rest of the dressing for drizzling over top. Add more goat cheese/pomegranate seeds as needed. Enjoy!