Kale, Fennel and Apple Salad

February 27, 2013

Who doesn’t like kale nowadays?  My favorite preparation of this ever-popular leafy green is raw in a salad.  This is my go-to salad recipe for kale and has a wonderful combination of different flavors and textures– the pairing of fennel and green apple go so perfectly with the hearty kale.  You can substitute the Parmesan and walnuts with any other hard cheese and nuts you may have lying around.

Kale, Fennel and Apple Salad

A wonderful combination of different flavors and textures - the pairing of fennel and green apple perfectly with the hearty kale.




  1. Remove the kale stems by running a knife along each side of the stem so you're left with just the leafy part.  Stack the leaves and slice into thin strips.
  2. Halve and core the apple and slice into 1/4 inch slices.  Stack the apple slices and cut into thin match sticks.
  3. Remove the stems of the fennel (save the fronds for garnish!).  Cut the bulb down the center and remove the center core.  Slice into paper thin slices with a mandoline or a sharp knife.
  4. Toast the walnuts in a pan until they start to become fragrant. Put the kale, fennel, and apple into a large salad bowl and crumble the toasted walnuts over the salad.  Then add the grated parmesan cheese over the salad.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk together the extra virgin olive oil with the apple cider vinegar.  Add a small drizzle of sesame oil (a little goes a long way).
  6. Add the minced shallots and add a couple large pinches of salt and fresh ground black pepper or season to taste.  Give the dressing a taste and add/adjust ingredients if needed (don't forget the parmesan will add additional saltiness).
  7. Dress the salad and garnish with some fennel fronds.

(images by HonestlyYUM)


I’m on my third batch of this salad. Life changing! I just can’t get enough! Even my husband loves it and he doesn’t get excited about salads. At all. I love that it keeps for several days, even after dressing it, and that the apples don’t turn brown. I took a note from Suzane (above) and added a couscous/rice box blend and it adds protein and extra heartiness.

A friend served this at a holiday party and it was the best kale-based recipe I’ve had in a long long time. She said she let it marinate in the dressing all day to tone down the fiber/crunchy aspects of the kale. I just found the recipe here and made it for lunch with a different kind of kale. I loved the warm walnuts!! I added a dash of agave sweetener and an extra tablespoon of apple cider vin to the dressing. Yum. I wonder how cubed avocado would taste in this?

Made for supper tonight. Added a cup of cooked wild rice and used a couple leeks that I sautéed in butter until lightly wilted. Delicious! It was a great way to use of my last CSA box ingredients. Thanks for the inspiration!

You’re welcome! I love that you added rice! I’m all about adding whole grains in salads 🙂

Made this last night and it was delicious.
I used baby kale that we bought from Costco. Didn’t have access to Lacinato kale (besides that, it’s usually overpriced). Used sweet and crunchy Fuji apples, a large bulb of fennel, and freshly grated parmesan. Slightly toasted the walnuts — perfect. My husband also loved it.
Thanks for this unique salad recipe. Sharon

Sounds and looks delicious. I am going to make it for Taryn and her parents. Bob is in Dubai. Wish I was making it for Toni and you. Love Aunt Adela

I am going to make the salad tonight for Taryn and her parents. Bob is in Dubai. Wish I was fixing dinner for you. Love Adela

I made this salad just now… I’ve been getting very perishable greens in my weekly CSA box, some of which already seem to be half-wilted, so the kale needed to be used quickly. It turned out delicious, and I was delighted that it ended up looking just like your pictures. I added radishes as well, which may have been overkill.

I just made this and it’s fantastic and easy! Not to mention uber healthy. I only had hazelnuts in the house so I subbed those and didn’t have shallots and it was still absolutely brilliant. This one is a keeper!

I love love LOVE this salad!!!

So delicious and light AND healthy!
I’m a kale-believer now!

Growing kale in my backyard and it is THE go-to green at my house. Thanks. The recipe is so simple and the photos are great!

thank you! I’m salivating … I gotta echo you Caroline … definitely inspired!

Beautiful photos, the recipes all look great! Thanks for the inspiration!

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