Kale Salad with Apples and Hazelnuts

January 25, 2011
4 Ratings
Photo by Bobbi Lin
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

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.

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. —Amanda Hesser

What You'll Need
  • 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.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Amy Crichton
    Amy Crichton
  • EmilyC
  • Kimbees54
  • Summer of Eggplant
    Summer of Eggplant
  • maryvelasquez
Amanda Hesser

Recipe by: Amanda Hesser

Before starting Food52 with Merrill, I was a food writer and editor at the New York Times. I've written several books, including "Cooking for Mr. Latte" and "The Essential New York Times Cookbook." I played myself in "Julie & Julia" -- hope you didn't blink, or you may have missed the scene! I live in Brooklyn with my husband, Tad, and twins, Walker and Addison.

23 Reviews

924OLive645 August 19, 2022
So never would I eat kale till now. This is so tasty.
Thanks for a great recipe.
alissa July 19, 2021
This recipe deserves a more current review. We started making it in 2015 and it continues to be in our rotation when we're craving a simple kale salad. We usually have all the ingredients and it's easy to riff on if we need to sub a different nut or red onions in place of green. We particularly like this salad as a make ahead side dish, or a picnic salad, as it doesn't wilt and gets better with time.
Amanda H. July 20, 2021
Thanks for the new review -- and happy to hear it's been a staple for you!
Amy C. April 29, 2017
This is one of the best recipes I have in my arsenal. Easy, crowd pleasing and so so good. Thanks!
Foody2 January 27, 2014
Thanks for answering back Amanda and thanks for the tip. Will give it a try.
Foody2 January 26, 2014
I love these fresh salads and the complex flavors but...my husband is lactose intolerant so what can I use in place of the pecorino romano cheese and still have a hit?
Amanda H. January 27, 2014
How about thin slivers of bacon? The cheese is there to add salinity and richness, and bacon would accomplish the same.
Dasha January 26, 2014
This was really good. I did use apple cider vinegar, and I realize it's a major substitution, but still.
EmilyC March 31, 2013
I served this salad for Easter dinner to accompany the Genius roast lamb shoulder. It was perfect on its own and as a fresh counterpart to the rich lamb. Everyone loved it. The brown rice vinegar is a lovely change from the usual.
Kimbees54 November 26, 2012
This kale salad was spectacular in its simplicity -- my family demanded it be added to our shared Glassboard recipe site as something they wanted to make again and again. It was still great the next day, too. I used red kale, not sure if red Russian or some of the softer kales would last more than 24 hours. My family and I recommend this.
Kimbees54 November 26, 2012
Sorry, thought I was on the bacon-covered turkey review! Ignore the post below (or delete). :)
Amanda H. November 26, 2012
Oh -- ha! I was reading your first comment and was so confused! I've done the same thing. Many times. Glad the turkey worked out!
Kimbees54 November 26, 2012
This was sooooo nice. It was perfect with the bacon -- only basted the once. I'd do it again.
Summer O. November 6, 2012
This was really great, I'll be making this to cut through the butter and cream on Thanksgiving. I didn't have an apple so I used pomegranate seeds. Loved it!
maryvelasquez October 18, 2012
Thanks, Amanda. This salad has bailed me out of numerous situations. Tonight I brought it to a pot luck and everyone loved it. I dressed the kale in the morning before work and then added the rest of the ingredients when I got home. Toss and go!
Amanda H. October 18, 2012
Love this make-ahead tip. Thank you!
CharlieR February 17, 2012
This sounds so very good!

Thank you for sharing!
AntoniaJames November 22, 2011
Okay, I honestly thought I'd finished all and I mean all food / wine errands for this T-Day, but now (after hearing Melissa Clark on the radio this morning) praising the virtues of kale salad on the Thanksgiving table, I simply must make this . . . So, so appealing! ;o)
Amanda H. November 22, 2011
Funny -- I bought Russian red kale to make this for Thanksgiving, as well. Have a wonderful holiday!
AntoniaJames November 22, 2011
Russian red! That's brilliant. So, so beautiful. Okay, so here's another question. If you were not going to use hazelnuts -- I just don't love them, it's as simple as that -- what nut would you use instead? Really like the use of brown rice vinegar in this, too, by the way. Excellent choice! ;o)
Amanda H. November 22, 2011
I'd probably use almonds or pine nuts. I think walnuts might be too bitter.
AntoniaJames November 22, 2011
Thank you. ;o)
Crispy October 18, 2011
Delicious! I had Lacinto Kale on hand so that is what I used (no mustard greens), but it was still great. I served it with Balsamic Glazed Pork Chops (Williams-Sonoma online recipe) and roasted delicata squash rings. I planned to serve it with ChezSuzanne's Crispy Delicata Rings with Currant, Fennel & Apple Relish, but ran out of time but will do so next time!