Healthy Kale Salad With Apples and Almonds

Aside from being delicious, kale salads are also delightfully portable. Just ask Gardenista editor Erin. Where regular old lettuce would wilt into a slimy mess, kale positively shines given a bit of time to marinate, she writes.

Here she shares her tips and recipe for making the perfect fall lunch, ready to take with you on your travels.

Above: Of all the varieties, Erin prefers tuscan kale—also known as dinosaur or lacinato—most. Its rich dark leaves exude healthfulness. She first recommends stripping the leaves off the sturdy center: With a semi-tight grip on the bottom of the rib, you can run your hands down the length of the rib and take the flesh leaves off easily. Once stripped,  layer them in a stack and then roll them up to make cutting the leaves into thin ribbons more easy.

Above: The key to proper raw kale enjoyment is a good massage, according to Erin. First, give the chopped leaves a bath in cold tap water. When the leaves are submerged in water, stick your hands in there and give a good swish, squeezing the cut kale in your fists. Rinse and spin dry. A good massage can help take away any lingering bitterness or bite.

Above: To offer a good crunch, Erin chose roasted almonds that she chopped roughly. Toasted pine nuts would also be lovely in this salad, she says.

Above: A nice hard cheese makes a raw kale salad come to life. Erin alternates between grana padano and parmesan reggiano. (Make sure you have the proper grater or knife.)

Above: Erin’s salad packed and ready to go in an Enamelware Lunch Container. Enjoy with a hunk of crusty bread and an extra apple, for good measure.

Raw Kale Salad with Apples and Almonds


  • 1 bunch tuscan kale, ribs removed, sliced into thin, short ribbons
  • 1 honey crisp apple, chopped
  • 1/2 cup roasted almonds, chopped
  • 1/2 cup grated grana padano (or similar aged cheese)
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Juice of one lemon
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Mix together kale, almonds, apple, and cheese. Toss with olive oil and lemon juice to taste (I used a ratio of about 2 tablespoons oil to 1 tablespoon lemon juice). Add salt and pepper to taste and an additional shave or ten of cheese. Enjoy.

For more favorite dinners, see Gardenista‘s complete list of Garden-to-Table Recipes.

10 Tasty Kale Recipes


Debbie Miller
Debbie Miller4 years ago

This sounds really good to me~~

heather g.
heather g4 years ago

The ingredient mix sounds as if it is a tasty mix.

The author referred to "regular old lettuce" which would 'wilt and go slimy'. I don't know about other readers, but I can't imagine anyone actually eating slimy lettuce.

Natasha Salgado
Past Member 4 years ago

Sounds delizio! Will make it 4 tonight--thank you!

Chazz York jr
Chazz York4 years ago

I was never too found of Kale but I would at least try this one.

june t.
reft h4 years ago

I'm not a fan of kale, I don't know why people say it tastes good - but this recipe looks like it might be worth trying.

Lynn C.
Lynn C4 years ago

Wanted to compliment you on the lovely photos in this article. Thank you again.

Lynn C.
Lynn C4 years ago


Val M.
Val M4 years ago


Julia R.
Julia R4 years ago

Great recipe! Tried it and just loved it. The almonds and apples not only make this salad even better for you ( although kale by itself is exceptionally good for you) but it gives it a great texture besides adding more zest! Thanks for this delectable salad!

Karen Chestney
Karen Chestney4 years ago

Thank----will try this salad.