Kale & Bulgur Salad with Brown Butter Apple Vinaigrette

July 25, 2017

Test Kitchen-Approved

Author Notes: Here's a hearty, greens-grains-Gruyère salad that will help you re-enter the rhythms of routine, slowly—it still has the ease and swiftness of your favorite low-maintenance summer recipes. (No need to turn on the oven and roast a whole pork shoulder just yet.)

The constituent parts—bulgur, kale, and roasted sweet potatoes, all coated in a brown butter apple vinaigrette—will keep well on their own, and the mixed salad will stay good for five days, meaning that you can follow the recipe start-to-finish or take it piecemeal, making bigger batches of any components you might also use in other meals.

In under an hour, you've set yourself up for two dinners (or quite a few lunches) and, if you've made extra sweet potatoes, bulgur, and vinaigrette, you've built a solid foundation for more meals to come. You'll feel as if you've just organized a 3-ring binder with plastic tab dividers—smart, organized, and ready to tackle a busy autumn like the meal-planning champ you are.
Sarah Jampel

Serves: 4 to 6, generously


  • 250 grams (about 8 ounces or 1 1/4 cups) bulgur
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 1 bunch lacinato kale, thick stems removed, sliced into thin ribbons
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped almonds
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds, gently crushed with a chef's knife
  • 1/4 teaspoon red chile flakes, or more to taste
  • 2 crisp eating apples, cut into 1-inch cubes, divided
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar (or additional 1 tablespoon lemon juice)
  • 1 medium sized or 2 small sweet potatoes, cubed and roasted
  • 2 ounces Gruyère, coarsely grated
In This Recipe


  1. Pour the bulgur into a medium heat-proof bowl and add 1/2 teaspoon salt. Bring at least 2 cups of water to a boil in a kettle or small pot, then pour it over the bulgur. Let sit for 10 minutes, then drain and fluff. Prepare the kale, then place the ribbons in a large bowl.
  2. While the bulgur soaks, make the vinaigrette. In a medium-sized skillet, melt the butter. When it's just starting to color and smell fragrant, add the almonds, shallot, coriander seeds, and red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring, until the shallots relax and the butter starts to brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Add half of the diced apples, 1/2 teaspoon salt, lemon juice, and apple cider vinegar, if using. Cook for about 45 seconds, until the apple has absorbed much of the liquid, but you still have a fair amount of liquid-y vinaigrette in the pan.
  3. Pour the vinaigrette over the kale ribbons and stir gently so that the kale wilts under the heat of the dressing. Add the drained bulgur, the cubed sweet potato, and the remaining apple. Mix in the grated cheese, taste for salt and lemon, and eat!

More Great Recipes:
Salad Dressing|Salad|Bulgur|Butter|Coriander|Grains|Kale|Lemon Juice|Vegetable|Vinegar|Shallot|Apple

Reviews (3) Questions (0)

3 Reviews

Elizabeth D. September 14, 2018
This was delicious, and loved by the family. I added a touch of brown sugar to balance the acidity and used smoked Gruyère, and also substituted quinoa because I can't consume gluten. This is a really stand out recipe!
Jenni S. October 22, 2017
This was delicious. I didn't have much liquid in my vinaigrette so I added some extra apple cider vinegar and a little honey to the dressing mixture and it worked perfect. Would definitely double the sweet potato and add more kale but I prefer more vegetables to grain.
Megan October 2, 2017
Yummy. I roasted my sweet potatoes with cumin, coriander, and cinnamon. I also added some chickpeas that had been roasted with berbere. Used quinoa because I had it handy. This was a lovely fall dish! Wish I had more dressing - could have eaten that with a spoon!!