Kale Salad With Roasted Beets

A kale salad with roasted beets, tender honeyed apples, crunchy walnuts, golden raisins and a cider vinegar, honey and mustard vinaigrette to tie it all together.

Kale Salad With Roasted Beets, apples, walnuts, raisins and a garlic, apple cider vinegar and honey vinaigrette.


Most people indulge in salads during the summer more than any other time of the year. Let’s not forget that autumn and winter have some incredible salad options to offer too. This kale salad is the perfect example of some of the glorious fruit and vegetables that are so abundant this time of year – kale, beets, apples and walnuts. It’s definitely unique in both taste, texture and visually too.

I’ll teach you a little secret to make your kale tender and full of flavor. I love the addition of roasted beets to the salad. They are so flavorful when roasted in the oven, they become even more sweet and have a wonderful “earthy flavor”. The caramelized apples are juicy, sweet and slightly tart. The combination is wonderful and with the addition of some crunchy walnuts, sweet raisins, a zesty dressing, and nutty Parmesan cheese, your mouth is in for a roller coaster ride. 

Ingredients:

  • Kale – I use the most common supermarket kale for this recipe, but you can use any other type of kale.
  • Roasted Beets – it is best to roast the beets in advance, since they need to be cold to be used in the salad. (Before adding the beets to the salad, I toss them in some olive oil, lemon juice and fresh parsley to make them even more flavorful.
  • Apples – I cook the apples in a skillet with some honey. You can use any apples, but I prefer Granny Smith apples because they keep their shape really well and are tart, so they pair really well with the honey.
  • Walnuts – any other nuts will work great here too. Try almonds, pecans, hazelnuts or pine nuts.
  • Golden Raisins – regular dark raisins can be used of course or try some other flavor options like dry cranberries or dry cherries.
  • Parmesan cheese – I also highly recommend that you try this salad with goat cheese, blue cheese or feta cheese. They are fantastic in this salad too.
  • Vinaigrette Ingredients: olive oil, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, dijon mustard, garlic, dijon mustard and honey.

What Type of Kale is best for salads? How Do You Prep Kale?

Common curly kale for soups and salads 
How to strip the leaves from the stem

Most of the time I use common curly kale that is sold in grocery stores here in Florida all year long.

I also really enjoy dinosaur kale, aka Tuscan kale. It’s more tender and I enjoy the flavor of it too. It’s wonderful in both salads and soups, like Zuppa Toscana or my Turkey and Sweet Potato Kale Soup.

To prepare the kale for cooking, I recommend removing the tough center of the kale. Just run your fingers to grip the center of the kale and pull down, stripping the tender parts of kale leaf right off the stem. You can also do it with a knife.

One of the small annoyances of kale is that it can sometimes feel like your jaw gets a workout gnawing on something that just doesn’t want to break down. The secret to tender kale leaves is to give it some tough love in the form of an aggressive rubdown. Not only will you be adding lots of flavor into the leaves because you’re rubbing it with olive oil, lemon juice and salt, but you are also softening the kale.

Roasting Beets

I would recommend roasting the beets ahead of time. The beets need to be cold for this recipe.

How to roast beets in parchment paper

Drizzle the beets with olive oil, sprinkle generously with salt all over and then place into parchment paper bags or wrap in aluminum foil. Place on a rimmed baking sheet.

Roast the beets in a preheated 400 degrees Fahrenheit oven for 30-75 minutes, depending on the size of your beets. Flip them over halfway through the cooking process. To see if the beets are cooked through, I usually use a long wooden skewer to see if they are tender in the center.

Read this post to find out more details and information about How To Roast Beets.

Cooking Apples For Salad

I also recommend making the apples in advance too, since they need to be cold for the salad. You can cook them and store them in your refrigerator for up to 5 days. This salad is excellent for prepping in advance.

Cooking apples in a skillet for salad

Peel the apple and cut it into slices. Heat 1 Tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet on medium heat. Add the apple with the honey and cook it for about 5 minutes, until the apple slices are tender and slightly caramelized. (You can also use brown sugar instead of honey.) Set the apples aside until they cool completely. 

Another great addition would be a splash of apple cider. Add the liquid to the vinaigrette later. 

Preparing and Assembling the Kale Salad

Step by step photo tutorial of how to make a kale salad with roasted beets, apples, walnuts and raisins
  • Massage the kale for at least 5 minutes with 2 Tablespoons olive oil, 1 Tablespoon lemon juice and season with salt. The kale will become much more tender and soft and will decrease in volume significantly.
  • Peel the beets and cut them  into slices. Season the beets with 1/2 Tablespoon of olive oil, 1/2 Tablespoon lemon juice, salt, pepper and parsley. You can use as much or as little beets as you like.
  • Mix all the ingredients together for the vinaigrette.
  • Layer the kale on the bottom of the plate and arrange the beets and the apples on top of the kale. Drizzle some of the vinaigrette over the salad, discarding the garlic.
  • Garnish the salad with raisins, walnuts and Parmesan or Romano cheese. You can also add some goat cheese or blue cheese to the salad, it’s absolutely divine with beets and apples. 
Kale Salad With curly kale, roasted beets, cooked honey apples, walnuts, golden raisins, Parmesan cheese and vinaigrette
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Kale Salad With Roasted Beets

  • Author: Olga’s Flavor Factory
  • Prep Time: 15 min
  • Cook Time: 5 min
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x

Description

A kale salad with roasted beets, tender honeyed apples, crunchy walnuts, golden raisins and a cider vinegar, honey and mustard vinaigrette to tie it all together.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 3 1/2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 12 apples (any kind of apple)
  • 1/21 Tablespoon honey
  • 67 cups kale
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 23 small beets
  • 1 teaspoon fresh parsley, minced
  • 1/4 cup toasted walnuts
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins (or craisins)
  • Romano or Parmesan cheese (goat cheese or blue cheese would be great in this salad too)

Vinaigrette:

  • 4 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/21 Tablespoon  apple cider vinegar (you can also use red wine or white wine vinegar)
  • 1/21 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/21 Tablespoon honey

Instructions

  1. Roast the beets in the oven (400 degrees Fahrenheit) until they are tender and cooked through, the time completely depends on the size of your beets, 30 minutes – 75 minutes.  I would recommend roasting the beets ahead of time. The beets need to be cold for this recipe.
  2. Peel the apple and cut it into slices. Heat 1 Tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet on medium heat. Add the apple with the honey and cook it for about 5 minutes, until the apple slices are tender and slightly caramelized. (You can also use brown sugar instead of honey.) Set the apples aside until they cool completely. (You can also cook the onions in advance and store them in your refrigerator). 
  3. Massage the kale for at least 5 minutes with 1 1/2 – 2 Tablespoons olive oil, 1 Tablespoon lemon juice and season with salt. The kale will become much more tender and soft and will decrease in volume significantly.
  4. Peel the beets and cut them into slices. Season the beets with 1/2 Tablespoon of olive oil, 1/2 Tablespoon lemon juice, salt, pepper and parsley.
  5. Mix all the ingredients together for the vinaigrette.
  6. Layer the kale on the bottom of the plate and arrange the beets and the apples on top of the kale. Drizzle some of the vinaigrette over the salad, discarding the garlic. Garnish the salad with raisins, walnuts and Parmesan or Romano cheese.

Notes

You can also add some goat cheese or blue cheese to the salad, it’s absolutely divine with beets and apples.

Keywords: kale salad, autumn salad, kale salad with roasted beets, kale salad with apples

Kale Salad With Roasted Beets-1-7

This is an updated version of the Kale Salad With Roasted Beets that was originally published on July 11, 2014. I have updated the photographs and clarified the instructions to make it even more user friendly and enjoyable.

6 Comments

  • elena

    This salad sounds great. Very unique 🙂 i want to try making this. Is this something that can be made ahead or is it best serve right away. Thanks for urge hard work 🙂

  • Olya D

    Another really good way to soften kale & improve the taste is to pour boiling water over it, swish around couple seconds & pour out. It makes it really soft & more comforting to chew, and it dsnt taste as “grassy” then either…

  • Tallya

    I love kale and we all need all the vitamin k since we can only get it from greens. I am loving this combo, thanks for sharing 🙂

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