Autumn Kale Harvest Salad with Apple Cider Vinaigrette
This Autumn Kale Harvest Salad brings together the best of fall’s produce into a beautiful salad. It’s made with thinly sliced kale, pomegranate seeds, Honeycrisp apple slices, candied almond slices, and tossed in a lusciously sweet and tangy Apple Cider Vinaigrette. It’s healthy, simple, beautiful, and the perfect accompaniment to your holiday meal or autumn dinner table.
Every holiday table needs a good salad to balance out all of the potatoes, stuffing, and otherwise filling meals. Personally, I need a bite of greens every so often, in between the carbs. That’s where this perfect Autumn Kale Harvest Salad comes in.
This Autumn Kale Harvest Salad was made for your holiday table. It’s easy to prep ahead of time, keeps well in the fridge (thanks for being so hearty, kale!), and has all sorts of bright, fall flavors to grace your holiday table.
For your harvest salad…
Lacinato kale is one of our stars, here. I love using kale because it holds up so well. You can prepare it days ahead of time, and even dress it early in the day, and because it’s so hearty, it won’t wilt on you. Instead, it will soften in the dressing and get even more flavorful. You can use all kale, or toss in some of a lighter green, like arugula, as I did.
Honeycrisp apples add the most delightful crunch to this salad. I recommend tossing the apples in a touch of lemon juice to keep them from browning. Honeycrisps are my favorite variety, but use whatever your favorite is. Just make sure it’s a crunchy apple – soft doesn’t work as well here. And if you prefer, pear slices can also be used!
Pomegranate seeds aren’t just stunning to look at – they also add this beautiful “pop” in the salad that makes it so fun to eat. These are the salad’s little gems on top, and you don’t want to skip it.
Candied almonds are never a bad idea, in my book. In this recipe, we toast the almonds slightly on the stove, and then toss in a few tablespoons of maple syrup and a sprinkle of salt. After a few minutes of cooking, you’ll leave the candied almonds to cool and firm up, adding a lovely crunch.
Let’s make Apple Cider Vinaigrette
This Apple Cider Vinaigrette is a favorite salad dressing of mine. It’s simple, tart, easy to mix together, and absolutely full of flavor. It works so beautifully in this salad, but can also be used for something like a grain bowl if you end up with some leftover.
Homemade salad dressing is so worth it, especially when it’s as easy as this one. Make sure to use a high-quality apple cider vinegar (with the mother) and good-quality olive oil – their flavors will carry the dressing.
Storing dressing? This apple cider vinaigrette can easily be made a few days ahead of time, as a time saver. I recommend storing this dressing in a small sealed container, like a mason jar. That way, when you’re ready to use, you can shake it up well to re-emulsify all of your ingredients.
For the rest of your Thanksgiving Menu:
- Vegan Sweet Potato Casserole with Gluten-Free Pecan Crumble
- Refined Sugar-Free Cranberry Sauce
- Vegan Broccoli Gratin
- 20 Gluten-Free Vegan Thanksgiving Desserts
This Autumn Kale Harvest Salad brings together the best of fall’s produce into a beautiful salad. It’s made with thinly sliced kale, pomegranate seeds, Honeycrisp apple slices, candied almond slices, and tossed in a lusciously sweet and tangy Apple Cider Vinaigrette.
For the salad
- 2 bunches Lacinato kale, stems removed and thinly sliced
- 2 cups baby arugala, optional
- 1 honeycrisp apple, sliced
- ½ cup pomegranate seeds
- ½ cup slivered almonds
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
For the dressing
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon tahini, can substitute dijon mustard
- 1 garlic clove, grated
- 2 teaspoons maple syrup
- ¼ teaspoon salt, or to taste
- ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
- Freshly ground pepper, to taste
Prep your kale: strip off the kale stems. Chop the kale finely, and then wash and dry well. Add to your salad bowl, and massage the chopped kale with a little olive oil and a pinch of salt. Rub well with your fingers until the leaves darken and soften. Don’t skip this step! It makes the whole salad better!
For the caramelized almonds: add the almond slices to a sauté pan over medium-low heat. Toast the almond until golden brown, stirring every few minutes. Add the maple syrup and stir to coat. Cook for another two minutes, stirring frequently. Turn off the heat, sprinkle with a pinch of salt, and allow to cool completely.
For the dressing: whisk together all of the ingredients until well-emulsified. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired.
To assemble: Add the sliced apples, pomegranate seeds, and caramelized almonds. Drizzle with dressing (start with about half), toss, and add more to taste.
It can be refrigerated, before or after adding the dressing, until you’re ready to serve.
The recipe can be scaled up or down depending on how many people you’re serving.
Keywords: thanksgiving, autumn, salad, kale salad, pomegranate