Amanda & Merrill

Kale Salad with Apples and Hazelnuts

January 21, 2011

Kale Salad with Apple and Hazelnuts

- Amanda

Kale is like one of those friends who you don't think about much, but when you do see him, you're always delighted and a little surprised by how much you like him. This was the case the other evening when I had dinner at Co. in Manhattan. Co. is known for its pizza not its greens, but like many of the new-wave pizza places in New York, its antipasti menu easily rivals its pizza. I ordered the kale salad with apples, roasted celery root and brown rice vinegar, and was reminded how much I love the mineral and earth and gutsiness of kale.

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At home, I opted out of roasting celery root, and instead subbed in toasted hazelnuts. And on a whim, I added some mustard greens and pecorino cheese. Use any ratio of kale to mustard you like; or use just one kind of green if you can't be bothered buying both. Young greens are best because they're more tender and sweet. Pull the leaves from the stems, then tear the leaves into pieces.

A hidden advantage of this salad is that it gets better with a little time to sit and relax. If you make it ahead, proceed through step 1 and let it sit for up to 30 minutes, then finish it up -- and feel both organized and virtuous.

Kale Salad with Apples and Hazelnuts

Serves 4

  • 5 cups curly kale and mustard green leaves, torn into small pieces
  • 2 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced on the bias
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon brown rice vinegar
  • Sea salt and coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1 tart apple
  • 1/4 cup hazelnuts, chopped and toasted
  • 1/4 cup pecorino romano or parmesan, shaved with a vegetable peeler


1. In a large bowl, combine the kale, mustard greens, scallions, olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Mix with your hands to really blend the dressing and rub it into the greens. Let the salad sit while you prepare the rest.

2. Core the apple. I like to do this with a melon baller. Thinly -- like, super thinly -- slice the two halves from stem to flower end. If you have a mandoline, that's the easiest way to go. Add the apples to the salad and gently fold together so they don't break in half. Taste and adjust seasonings.

3. Spread the salad on a platter. Sprinkle with the hazelnuts and cheese shavings.

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A New Way to Dinner, co-authored by Food52's founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, is an indispensable playbook for stress-free meal-planning (hint: cook foundational dishes on the weekend and mix and match ‘em through the week).

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drbabs February 1, 2011
I made this tonight with arugula instead of kale (My husband hates kale.) --it was wonderful! I've been making the M. Wells brussels sprouts salad every week--this will be a favorite, too. Thanks for a great recipe!
Ecuacan January 30, 2011
I LIGHTLY pan-steam my kale for salads. It takes away a little of the chewiness and brightens the colour as well. You just put it in a pan wet (after you've chopped and washed it) and turn it so that it doesn't get overly cooked. Put it in an ice bath, then dry in the salad spinner. You're ready to go!
leah55 January 24, 2011
I'm definitely adding this to my To Make: Winter Salads folder.
I read today that when acidic things like vinegar or lemon juice are added to greens, it makes them more nutritious. Interesting, right?
Amanda H. January 24, 2011
Didn't know that -- thanks!
Aliwaks January 23, 2011
Strange! I made a very similar salad after apple salad week made a hazelnut/pecorino/meyer lemon kind of pesto vinaigrette with tossed ribbons of raw lacinato kale & chunks of apple...somehow felt very primally healthful..I think it was the raw kale + salty chewiness from pesto + sweet apple crunch...funny almost the exactly same ingredients except I used lemon juice and you used brown rice vinegar where I used meyer lemon juice, and I had garlic where you had scallions.
Amanda H. January 23, 2011
Great minds.... :)
Tracy January 23, 2011
How fortuitous! I was craving kale today.
Nantucket C. January 23, 2011
Amanda, do you think Chard could work here? Kale at the market was lackluster!
Amanda H. January 23, 2011
Haven't tried it, but seems worth a shot. Let us know!
mariaraynal January 21, 2011
Amanda/Merrill, what's your process when you recreate a restaurant recipe? Do you talk to the chef or staff about ingredients and technique? Do you usually test it a few times before you get the results you want? And, do you find your "taste memory" is pretty accurate once you try it in your own kitchen?
mariaraynal January 21, 2011
p.s. Nice recipe, btw. I love massaged kale style dishes. And kale chips, too.
Amanda H. January 22, 2011
It depends. When I feel like I know how to make it and I want to mess with the recipe (as I did here), then I just get in the kitchen and start testing and writing notes. Sometimes it takes me a few times to get it right, but sometimes, when I'm lucky and it's an easy recipe like this salad, I can get it right the first time. And when it's something more complicated that I want to replicate just as the restaurant does it, then I email or call the chef and ask him/her to talk me through it and send a recipe. Then I make it until it's just as I remember it.
mariaraynal February 2, 2011
Thanks, Amanda!
My P. January 21, 2011
sounds delicious
Lizthechef January 21, 2011
I have never tried kale raw but have a bunch fresh from the market. Like your idea to let the tossed salad "rest" a bit...Say, I know a contest this salad might have won ;)
Mcalvosa January 21, 2011
If I cannot find brown rice vinegar, which other vinegar do you suggest?
andrew_clark January 21, 2011
I'd keep it simple and clean. Maybe cider vinegar, maybe champagne vinegar. Stay away from the balsamic or the red wine.
Amanda H. January 21, 2011
Totally agree -- thanks Andrew.
Mcalvosa January 22, 2011
Thanks for your recommendations! I will definitely try it!
Greenstuff January 21, 2011
I love your sizzle pan.
Rochelle B. January 23, 2011
Agreed - so useful in the kitchen! When I was in culinary school, my instructor, a Corsican with a thick accent, referred to them as "see-zzle pans." It took me a good four months and some real life restaurant mortification before I realized the word was actually "sizzle."