Kale Salad with Apple, Avocado, Parmesan & Honey Mustard Vinaigrette

Kale, Apple, Avocado, Parm Salad | www.kiwiandbean.com

We did something really really brave this past weekend, and took our brood on a five-hour road trip to Montreal. Well, I should clarify: that’s five hours according to Google maps, which doesn’t (yet, anyway) adjust travel time for bathrooming, screaming, crying, nursing, “the iPad is not woooooooorking,” snacking, lunching, bathrooming again, hair pulling and crying (mine, this time), and nursing again. Hey Google, if you’re reading: five hours pfft, try eight POINT five hours.

This left us one clear day to “enjoy” ourselves in Montreal, and make our way through a very long to-do list, which predictably was interrupted by bathrooming, screaming, nursing, crying, snacking, lunching, bathrooming again, screaming again, barfing (this was new!) and nursing again. Question: do people call this a “vacation”? Doesn’t seem like the right word.

I will say, though, that it was worth it (yes, truly) to see the Bean race gleefully—and donning a Hooter Hider come superhero cape, no less—towards “Mama’s school!!!” (i.e. my alma mater), to photograph Kiwi & Bean sitting on the steps of my very first apartment (and kitchen, importantly), and to push my baby stroller through the streets where I spent my most formative years. So much of the city was exactly as I remembered it, and yet here I am 10 years older with a husband and a couple of crazies. Wowza.



And of course, no trip to la belle province would be complete without scarfing at least 20,000 calories, and we did manage to pause the screaming, nursing, bathrooming and barfing for just long enough to stuff our faces with several days’ worth of excellent food, coffee, wine, cocktails and pastries.

Montreal Food

Which means this week is stuff-my-face-with-vegetables week. Kale salad, anyone?

Now, I should say that it wasn’t too long ago that kale salads were at the very top of  my do-not-cook list. I just couldn’t be convinced that raw kale was worth the trouble. But I’ve recently come around, and I will admit that if you use the right kind of kale, massage it in just the right way (yes, I’m going to suggest that you get all sexy-time on your greens), and mix it with the right combination of taste enhancers—in this case avocado, apple, pepitas, parmesan and a kick-ass honey mustard vinaigrette—kale salad can be pretty good, and maybe even really really finger-licking good.

In fact this kale salad is so darn good that I’ve actually managed to persuade the Bean to take more than 1/17th of a bite. If your kids aren’t into kale (and frankly, I kinda don’t blame them), you can serve them a “deconstructed” version consisting of cubed apples and avocado, a handful of pepitas, a few shaves of parmesan and a bit of vinaigrette for dipping.

Kale, Apple, Avocado, Parm Salad | www.kiwiandbean.com

Kale Salad with Apple, Avocado, Parmesan & Honey Mustard Vinaigrette

Total Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 4 side-dish servings

Dressing recipe adapted from www.cookieandkate.com.


    For the dressing:
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1/2 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • For the salad:
  • 1 large bunch lacinato kale (aka tuscan kale, dinosaur kale)
  • 1 gala apple, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup pepitas
  • 1/2 avocado, cubed
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  1. For the dressing: whisk all of the dressing ingredients in a small bowl, or shake them up in a small mason jar.
  2. For the salad: Destem the kale (cut it away from the woody stems), and then cut it into thin ribbons. Put the ribbons into a large salad bowl and use your hands to massage the kale by squeezing it firmly. You want to repeat this rub-down several times, in order to break down the tough leaf fibres to make the kale more palatable and silky. Add the apple, apple, cheese, and pepitas to the massaged kale and then toss with the dressing until everything is well combined. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and scatter the avocado cubes overtop just before serving.


I actually like this salad best after it's been sitting in the fridge for a few hours (minus the avocado, which should be added just before you eat). While the kale sits, it softens and absorbs the dressing, which makes it quite a bit tastier. I expect that this would even survive overnight and all the way until lunchtime, for those inclined to take it to work or send it to school.


14 Responses to Kale Salad with Apple, Avocado, Parmesan & Honey Mustard Vinaigrette

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  2. Wes June 1, 2016 at 9:29 am #

    I typically hate kale except when prepared like this. My aunt found this recipe and started preparing it. Now I am learning as I have to introduce my friends to this.

  3. Sarah November 24, 2014 at 11:44 am #

    I love this dressing! It has become my go-to. I am now eating everyday with my lunch at work. I didn’t have regular dijon when I first made it, so I used honey mustard. Not sure if that made it extra delish!

    Also didn’t have parmesan and pumpkin seeds on hand, so I threw in fig goat’s cheese and sliced almonds instead.

    • Sarah November 24, 2014 at 5:18 pm #

      Oh my gosh, your version sounds amazing!!! Fig goat’s cheese?! I’m drooling. Glad you liked it, Sarah.

  4. Deborah October 11, 2014 at 10:46 pm #

    Amazing flavour combination! I can’t stop making this salad…i have had it for lunch everyday this week. Thanks for sharing

    • Sarah October 16, 2014 at 11:23 pm #

      Oh I’m so glad you like it!

  5. Jess July 12, 2014 at 3:41 pm #

    Just now whipped this up for lunch – so quick and yummy !! Can’t wait to taste it tomorrow when it’s yummier 🙂

    • Sarah July 13, 2014 at 10:04 pm #

      Glad you enjoyed, Jess. Thanks for visiting!

    • Jess August 19, 2014 at 1:00 pm #

      Ok and I have to mention that I have now made this several times and have been asked by at least 10 people now for the recipe. It’s that good. Also, I would add that it definitely takes me more than 20 minutes to prepare it, especially when also making the dressing. The de-stemming and cutting up and massaging of the kale takes the most time I’d say, but maybe it’s because I keep making it in large quantities now. Haha. My boyfriend asks me to make a big batch of it for his lunches all week and he’s definitely not a leafy green kinda guy so that is saying a lot!

      Thanks again so much for this! Loving it 🙂

    • Sarah August 19, 2014 at 2:02 pm #

      Jess I’m so glad you are enjoying it! Isn’t amazing that kale can taste so good? Great feedback re. recipe timing, too. Thanks!

  6. Eva July 11, 2014 at 9:44 pm #

    This recipe looks delish! Can I use baby kale too? (The kind you can buy that is already washed and ready to go?)

    • Sarah July 13, 2014 at 10:06 pm #

      Hi Eva! I’ve never tried it with the baby kale, but I’m sure it would be good. The baby kale is more delicate, so the salad won’t be quite as hardy and may not last for nearly as long in the fridge. Let me know how it works out!

  7. dina July 11, 2014 at 8:07 pm #

    great healthy salad!

    • Sarah July 13, 2014 at 10:07 pm #

      Yes, it tastes so good it’s hard to believe it’s so healthy!

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