This is likely the first post of many in the coming weeks involving apples. We went apple picking last weekend and opted for the 20 lb bag…and it’s a whole lot more apples than I anticipated. But, really, do you ever get sick of apples? I certainly don’t. Especially when the apples are organic, freshly picked and the crispest, most delicious apples I have ever had the pleasure of biting into. I’ll share more from our apple picking adventure soon (spoiler alert: it involves a certain adorable toddler and something sweet!), but I could not wait to share this salad.
Yes, it’s another kale salad. But this salad has a lot going for it to set it apart from the rest. First and foremost, the almond butter dressing. I could drink this stuff straight. Just like my roasted shallot dressing from this post, this dressing almost steals the show. It is perfect drizzled over this salad. Apples and almond butter are always a winning combination, and I love the savory riff here. Fresh ginger, a bit of tamari, a glug of maple syrup and a spoonful of mustard really round out the flavors of the dressing and lend so much flavor to this salad. I find that raw kale needs a robust dressing to penetrate its toughness and distinctive flavor. This dressing totally does that.
A raw kale salad also begs for texture, and this salad delivers. The slightly tart, crisp apples, paired with crunchy and warmly-spiced lentils and creamy goat cheese stand up to the kale’s heartiness and really elevate this salad. As with any kale salad I make, I add the extra step of massaging the kale with oil, vinegar and salt and leave it to sit for a while as I prepare the other salad components. Massaging your salad sounds fussy, I know. I mean, I’d like a massage…why does my salad get one? But really, it only takes a couple minutes, and all you’re doing is pressing the oil, vinegar and salt into the kale with your hands. Doing so helps tenderize the kale, which can be tough and chewy. This step also adds a lot of flavor and helps your dressing better penetrate the kale and tame the raw kale flavor that can otherwise be overwhelming.
Because kale is so hearty, this salad keeps well, even after dressing it. This is a great salad to prepare in advance for a dinner party or for weekday lunches. Even Rose ate this salad! She hasn’t really jumped on the raw kale bandwagon yet. I can’t say I blame her, as I cannot imagine eating it without a full set of molars. But she had a good amount of this salad. I suspect the apples, goat cheese and almond butter dressing had something to do with it.
Have a wonderful day!