Sunday, April 29, 2012

Recipe for Raw Baby Kale Salad with Apples, Sunflower Seeds, and Lemon-Dijon Vinaigrette

Raw Baby Kale Salad with Apples, Sunflower Seeds, and Lemon-Dijon Vinaigrette
Raw Baby Kale Salad with Apples, Sunflower Seeds, and Lemon-Dijon Vinaigrette!

There's no doubt about it, I'm seriously smitten with the Earthbound Farm Baby Kale Mix that suddenly appeared at the Fresh Market store by my house.  I've been buying it every time I see it at the store (and so is everyone else apparently, because about half the time they don't have any.)  Making a salad with the raw baby kale was a snap and I loved this combination with raw baby kale, apples tossed in a lemon-Dijon vinaigrette, and crispy sunflower seeds adding a little crunch.  The dressing for this is slightly sweet, so maybe this would be a good one to try out on family members who are on the fence about raw kale.

I do want to say, although you might be able to make this salad with bigger leaves of kale, once the leaves get bigger some varieties of kale are pretty strong to be eaten raw.  I've had good luck with Red Russian Kale in salads, so if you can't find the baby kale, I would recommend that.  Of course this salad with baby kale, apples, and sunflower seeds is my Meatless Monday recipe for this coming week, which I'm posting on Sunday so people can make it on Monday if they wish.  (You can find more meatless recipes by using the label Meatless Monday or checking Vegetarian Recipes in the recipe index, and I'm also doing a meatless slow cooker recipe each Monday on Slow Cooker from Scratch.  For more Meatless Monday ideas from other bloggers, check Meatless Monday at BlogHer, where I write a weekly post spotlighting one of the fabulous meatless recipe ideas I find around the web.)

I used the Earthbound Farm Baby Kale Mix, which is the perfect amount for a salad like this.

I crisped the kale by giving a cold water bath in the salad spinner.  Be sure to spin very dry so the salad doesn't get soggy.

Mix together the white balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, and sweetener (or sugar), and then whisk in the olive oil to make the dressing.

If you this OXO Good Grips Apple Corer, it makes cutting up the apple a breeze.

After I cored and sliced the apple, I cut each section into chunks and then tossed it with about half the dressing.  (The lemon in the dressing will keep the apples from turning brown, so be sure all the pieces are coated with dressing.)

Toss the baby kale with the rest of the dressing, or enough that it's well moistened.

Then add the apples and sunflower seeds and toss again.  Serve right away.

Raw Baby Kale Salad with Apples, Sunflower Seeds, and Lemon-Dijon Vinaigrette
(Makes 4 servings; recipe created by Kalyn, probably with inspiration from this Kale and Apple Salad.)

Salad Ingredients:
5 oz. mixed baby kale leaves (or use Red Russian Kale leaves, chopped; I used Earthbound Farm Baby Kale Mix)
1 large apple (I used Honeycrisp, but any flavorful apple will work.  Red apples will look prettier!)
1/4 cup dry-roasted sunflower seeds

Dressing Ingredients:
2 tsp. fresh-squeezed lemon juice
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
2 tsp. agave nectar, sugar, Splenda, or Stevia granulated (Use agave, Splenda, or Stevia for South Beach Diet)
1 tsp. white balsamic vinegar (or any mild white vinegar will work)
2 T + 1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil

If you can't find the mixed baby kale leaves I highly recommend Red Russian Kale for this salad instead of other kale varieties.  If using Red Kale, cut away the rib in each leaf and chop the kale into bite-sized pieces.  The baby kale does not need to be chopped.  Whichever kale you use, if it is even a little bit wilted I would crisp it in a salad spinner with very cold water and then spin dry (or dry with paper towels, until it's very dry.)

Mix together the white balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, and sweetener (or sugar), and then whisk in the olive oil to make the dressing.  Core the apple, cut into slices, and cut each slice into chunks.  Put apple pieces in a small bowl and toss with about half the dressing, making sure each piece of the apple is coated with dressing.

Put the kale into a bowl large enough to hold all the salad, add the rest of the dressing and toss to coat.  (If you don't like much dressing, you may not need it all.)  Add the apples coated with dressing and sunflower seeds and toss again.

This was not bad after being in the fridge overnight, but next time I would only mix as much salad as I could eat at that time.  Refrigerate the extra kale and apples and dressing mixture separately and toss together with the sunflower seeds right before you're eating the leftovers.

South Beach Suggestions:
The use of apples in this salad makes it limited for phase 2 or 3 of the South Beach Diet, and it's important to use Agave, Splenda, or Stevia if you're making it for South Beach.

More Tasty Salads with Raw Kale:
(Recipes from other blogs not always South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Raw Kale Salad with Pecorino (or Parmesan) and Lemon from Kalyn's Kitchen
Kale and Romaine Caesar Salad from Kalyn's Kitchen
Whole Wheat Orzo Salad with Kale, Chickpeas, Lemon, and Feta from Kalyn's Kitchen
Kale and Apple Salad with Bacon and Pecans from Sass and Veracity
Fully Loaded Kale Salad from Healthy Happy Life
Kale Salad with Quinoa, Tangerines and Roasted Almonds from Gluten-Free Goddess
Cauliflower and Kale Salad from Steamy Kitchen
Kale Salad with Grapefruit from Elana's Pantry
Kale and Quinoa Salad with Fresh Blueberry Vinaigrette from Diet, Dessert, and Dogs
Raw Mediterranean Kale Salad from Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.) counter customizable free hit
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More to Chew On:


  1. This looks wonderful. I'm such a kale salad fan. The version I'm looking to create today has raspberries in it!

  2. I haven't seen baby kale in my produce section. I'll have to ask the clerk. I'll bet the flavor isn't quite as bitter - perfect for a salad.

  3. I love this recipe! It feels so fresh and simple but flavorful. I cant wait to try this. Another thing I am loving right now is white balsamic vinegar. I used it all the time a while ago, but recently started using it again. And well, kale of course, cant get enough of that. Thank you for the great idea!

  4. When you first posted about this kale, I ran right out to my local market, and then another, and a third, and nobody had it. I asked the produce manager at each market to think about stocking it, so I have my fingers crossed.

  5. Lori, I think rasberries and raw kale sounds great!

    Mother Rimmy, so far I can only find it at Fresh Market and Whole Foods in Salt Lake, but it's a fairly new product so I'm guessing more stores will be getting it.

    Fabiola, thanks. I really liked the combination.

    Lydia, hope one of them will get it for you!

  6. Guys, check your farmer's market! That's where I get my baby kale. I love the idea of tossing it with a dijon vinaigrette!

  7. Caroline, the farmers market in Utah doesn't open until mid-June. :(

  8. Hey Kalyn,

    I will visit my farmers market tomorrow to see if they have the baby kale, I wanted to make this salad today but my local store didn't have it

    Thanks for showing us the pictures and how it looks like, I am always looking for recipes and I have hard time finding ones with real pictures!

    Thanks again!

  9. Love the sound of this, Kalyn. I will have it tomorrow...need all sorts of veggies every day to get slimmmer before my niece's wedding, so thanks for all the help. I had a gazpacho soup with mango yesterday at an event...delicious...I will check and see if you have a recipe for one on your site.

  10. I've been buying up the baby kale mix like CRAZY...I always have it in my fridge. At all times. I just love to incorporate it into just about every meal. :) I've been dreaming of a raw kale salad lately and I think this may just be it!

  11. Can't wait for our local farmer's market to open - they have the best fresh baby kale. Pinning this so I can make this when I get my stash of baby kale.

  12. I'm hooked on it as well. Makes it so easy to serve a great salad like this quickly. Apples are such a perfect choice and I love the vinaigrette!

  13. Jeanette, I can tell I need to check out my farmers market for Kale, or wait until I have it in my garden!

    Thanks Kelly! Loved the combination with apples.

  14. Loved, LOVED, this salad! I used a product called Kale Greens from Glory Foods...not baby kale, but still tender and delish. Even my DH, who wrinkled his nose at kale, loved it. A real keeper!

  15. It looks very appetizing! Yummy Yummy

  16. Wow, what a deliciously fresh looking salad - perfect for spring! I have been coming to your blog for years now (actually you were the very first food blog I followed!) and you continue to be such an inspiration. Such a wonderful site and beautiful photography. Thanks Kalyn!

  17. Thanks Katya and Kaitlin. I really can't wait to make this again!

  18. I am so going to have to look for baby kale!

  19. I found baby kale at my Fred Meyer (Kroger in OR) by chance. Bought it, searched the web and found your recipe and site. Awesome!

  20. This was delicious. I was looking for a salad to use up the remainder of the baby kale in my fridge (I used some to make quinoa soup with greens) and found your recipe. I used local honey for the sweetener and added thinly sliced kumquats. I also let it sit dressed in the fridge for 40 minutes. Will definitely make again!

  21. Omg! This is my new favorite salad! The dressing is amazing!

  22. I've made this with the baby kale leaves, and last night I made it with the "power greens" combo. Both were delicious! The combo of the dressing with the apples and sunflower seeds is so yummy.

  23. Katharine, I've been loving those "Power Greens" combinations too. Great idea to use it in this salad!

  24. This is my 10 year old son's favourite salad. He begs for it. I have used regular kale chopped up small. I've added carrots, switched in pumpkins seeds or apple cider vinegar depending what I have in the house and it is always a big hit. I never have enough to take for lunch the next day. Enjoyed it tonight and thought I should thank you.

  25. Thanks Shauna, I love hearing that you have enjoyed it so much!


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