This pretty salad is so healthy and delicious.
Autumn in New York usually means a slight chill in the air, a visit to the pumpkin patch or apple orchard, and afternoon walks to admire the vibrant fall foliage. It doesn’t mean softly falling snow. But this morning I looked out the window only to see that it was snowing. I’m not ready for winter yet! Thankfully, the tiny snowflakes soon turned into rain.
But the unexpected snow reminded me that I need to relish every minute of this fall season. It goes by way too quickly. So let’s celebrate with a beautiful autumn kale salad topped with apple slices, pomegranate seeds, pistachios, and goat cheese.
Before I jump into the recipe, I need to tell you a little secret. First of all, I love salads. I’ve loved eating them since I was a little girl. And the bigger the salad the better. My family jokes that I’m like Elaine Benes in the Seinfeld episode where she keeps ordering the Big Salad.
But here’s the secret: I do not enjoy making salads. Believe it or not, I’d rather put on a strand of pearls like Julia Child and make one of her complicated recipes. Weird, right? Salads are so easy and fast to make.
I think the reason why I don’t enjoy making them is because I usually have one every day for lunch. And what ends up happening is that they become pretty boring. Greens, carrots, some peppers, red onions, etc. It’s an extremely healthy salad, and it’s tasty, but it can get a little boring making the same salad day after day.
So today I was excited to change things up a bit and try to make the prettiest autumn salad with some of my favorite ingredients.
First, I’m using massaged kale in this recipe. If you’ve ever had a raw kale salad, you might have noticed that the kale was a little bitter and its texture a little coarse. However, if you massage the kale for only about five minutes, it will begin to soften and wilt. This seems to break down its dense cellulose structure leaving it easier to digest and much tastier. Read more about how to massage kale here.
Next, this salad has two of my favorite autumn fruits: apples and pomegranates. Apples are actually my favorite fruit no matter the season. You can read about some of the health benefits of apples here.
Pomegranate seeds are a powerful superfood. Read about them here. They are loaded with antioxidants and phytochemicals that protect heart and brain health. The red, jewel-like capsule (called an aril) that encloses the pomegranate seed provides vitamins B6, C, and potassium. Not only do I love how nutritious these seeds are, but I also love how they explode with flavor in every forkful.
Watch this video and see how to cut a pomegranate the safe and easy way.
I also crumbled goat cheese over the salad to add a lovely creaminess. The goat cheese I used is a Chèvre from the Vermont Creamery. This is a wonderfully tasty cheese. Because goat’s milk is closer in comparison to human milk than that of a cow, some people with low tolerance to cow’s milk can tolerate goat’s milk. Read more about goat cheese here.
And, finally, I tossed in a handful of toasted pistachios. If you’re concerned about nuts manufactured on shared equipment with gluten containing products, check out Nuts.com that prominently labels which products of theirs are certified gluten-free.
For the dressing, I recommend just a light vinaigrette and a dash of salt.
There you have it. The perfect way to celebrate autumn.
Do you love salads as much as I do? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments. And please share this recipe with a friend who loves salads too. 🙂
Have a happy and healthy week!
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Autumn Kale Salad with Apples, Pomegranate, Pistachios, and Goat Cheese
- For massaged kale:
- a bunch of kale
- 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
- juice of one lemon
- salt to taste
- For Toasting Pistachios:
- 20 pistachio nuts chopped
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 1 small red apple sliced
- 1 small green apple sliced
- 1-2 tablespoons goat cheese
- 2 tablespoons pomegranate seeds
- season with salt and pepper
- Massage the kale: Wash kale and remove the leaves from the stems.
- Wash the leaves again, and place them in a large bowl. Add oil, lemon juice, and salt. Then as if you were kneading dough, start massaging those leaves. After about 2 minutes you will actually feel their tough structure breaking down. Continue to massage, rubbing the leaves together and tearing them apart. You'll notice the leaves turning a deeper green. The volume will shrink to about half, too.
- After 5 minutes, taste the kale. When you find the once bitter taste has been transformed to a lightly sweet and nutty taste, your kale is ready.
- Toast Pistachios: Heat butter in a saucepan over medium heat until it bubbles and begins to brown. Turn off the flame and add garlic and pistachios. Stir well to coat the pistachios until slightly toasted.
- Toss kale with your toasted pistachios, pomegranate seeds, and apple slices. Top with goat cheese and serve.
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