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This colorful Kale salad with apples, figs, walnut and goat cheese is a perfect winter salad. It’s incredibly flavorful, crunchy, light, healthful, and delicious. Perfect as a starter or low-carb main dish!

Kale salad with apples, figs, walnut and goat cheese in a salad bowl

Kale salad gets way too little attention in my opinion! But that will change quickly, because I’ll show you how to conjure up a stunningly delicious raw kale salad recipe that is easily prepared with great ingredients. It’s one of my favorite winter salads that I love to serve as a starter or side dish when I have guests over for dinner. It’s a very popular side salad for Thanksgiving or Christmas!

However, it also makes a stunning low-carb main dish for two! If you want to add some carbs, you can stir in cooked quinoa, add healthy vegetables such as roasted butternut squash, or add some protein of your choice to make it a little more nutritious.

apple kale salad in a blue salad bowl

To make raw kale salad taste great, it needs to be prepared properly. The magic formula: Massage it with your hands! Cut and wash raw kale leaves, add it with the dressing into a large bowl and massage it with clean hands for a few minutes! This makes it much milder in flavor and also a bit softer to the bite. Try it! It’s also a great way to relax and let your mind wander after a long working day…😉

Once your kale is tossed with the dressing, it needs a proper topping. I love to serve it with freshly sliced apples, dried figs (or fresh ones if available), toasted walnuts, and crumbled goat cheese. One of the BEST kale salad recipe ever!

Don’t like goat cheese or prefer a vegan kale salad? Omit the goat cheese or replace it with feta cheese, vegan feta cheese, or a dairy-free alternative of your choice.

💡 Good To Know

Kale is a typical winter vegetable. It belongs to the cabbage varieties, which explains its mild cabbage-like flavor and tart note. Kale is very healthy and has an enormous content of beta-carotene, potassium, vitamin C, and vitamin K. So, enjoyed raw, it’s a real nutrient booster.

🛒 Ingredients

See recipe card for quantities.

Kale Salad Ingredients
  • Kale → Best to buy fresh! 
  • Apples → Give the salad a particularly fresh, crisp, juicy, and slightly sweet note.
  • Figs → Provide sweetness and flavor. Use dried or fresh figs, depending on availability.
  • Walnuts → Add some nutty flavors. Make sure to toast them beforehand. Pecans also work great in this recipe.
  • Goat Cheese → Adds some creaminess to the salad! Use a rather mild goat cheese (I used a goat cream cheese) and crumble it over the salad. For a vegan kale salad, omit it. 
  • Dressing → Extra-Virgin Olive Oil, Apple Cider Vinegar (or balsamic vinegar /lemon juice 😉), maple syrup, Dijon mustard, salt, and black pepper. Garlic lovers can add a pinch of grated garlic to the dressing.

👩‍🍳 Visual Step-by-Step Instructions

This visual step-by-step instruction will help you along the way – definitely recommended if you’re a cooking beginner! 😉

  • Toast chopped walnuts in a skillet without oil until golden brown. Set aside to cool.
  • Combine all of the dressing ingredients in a glass jar and shake well or whisk them together in a small bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Remove kale from the stalk (either by hand or with a knife) and chop finely.
Kale Salad Recipe Step-1
Kale Salad Recipe Step-2
  • Then wash kale and spin dry using a salad spinner.
  • Add kale to a large bowl with roughly ¾ of the dressing. Now, get your clean hands in and massage the kale for a few minutes.
Kale Salad Recipe Step 3
Kale Salad Recipe Step 4
  • Cut apples and figs into fine strips and arrange on the kale. Sprinkle with toasted walnuts and crumbled goat cheese.
  • Drizzle with the remaining dressing and serve!
Kale salad with apples, figs, walnut and goat cheese

Hint: Since kale salad doesn’t get practically mushy, you can store leftovers in the fridge for a maximum of one day! Prepare: Feel free to store massaged kale in the refrigerator for a few hours. Mix with remaining ingredients before serving.

🥗 More Healthy Salad Recipes

If you make this recipe, I’d love for you to give it a star rating ★ below. 

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📖 Recipe

Kale salad with apples, figs, walnut and goat cheese in a salad bowl

Kale Salad with Apples

This colorful Kale salad with apples, figs, walnut and goat cheese is a perfect winter salad. It's incredibly flavorful, crunchy, light, healthful, and delicious. Perfect as a starter or low-carb main dish!
Author : Aline Cueni
5 from 1 vote

Click on the stars to leave a vote!

Prep Time :10 minutes
Cook Time :5 minutes
Total Time :15 minutes
Servings : 4
Calories : 190kcal

Ingredients
 
 

  • 9 oz kale
  • ¼ cup walnuts
  • 4 dried figs or fresh ones if available, finely sliced
  • 1 apple finely sliced
  • ½ cup goat cheese crumbled

Dressing

Instructions
 

  • Toast chopped walnuts in a skillet without oil until golden brown. Set aside to cool.
  • Remove kale from the stalk (either by hand or with a knife) and chop finely. Then wash kale and spin dry using a salad spinner.
  • Combine all of the dressing ingredients in a glass jar and shake well or whisk them together in a small bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Add kale to a large bowl with roughly ¾ of the dressing. Now, get your clean hands in and massage the kale for a few minutes.
  • Cut apples and figs into fine strips and arrange on the kale. Sprinkle with toasted walnuts and crumbled goat cheese.
  • Drizzle with the remaining dressing and serve!

Notes

Keeps fresh for 1 day. Store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Vegan Version: Omit goat cheese or replace with a vegan feta cheese!

Nutrition

Calories: 190kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 9mg | Sodium: 129mg | Potassium: 372mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 6465IU | Vitamin C: 61mg | Calcium: 211mg | Iron: 2mg

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