This Apple Harvest Salad is healthy, delicious and packed full of fresh Honeycrisp apples. It’s hard to stop eating, so you’ll be glad to know it makes a big salad, perfect for sharing (if you must, lol)!
Have you ever gone apple picking, and picked way too many apples, knowing you can only eat so many per day and you do want to consume your entire daily calories in apple pie, enter, this Apple Harvest Salad – kale, carrots, cucumbers, chickpeas, and apples, of course – tossed together with a lemon-Dijon dressing.
This salad is so good and refreshing, you’ll be eating it by the spoonful, yep, it’s a spoonable salad!
What’s Apple Harvest Salad?
It’s a salad with some autumn ingredients that pair well with my freshly picked apples. Rustic kale, fresh carrot ribbons, crisp cucumber, and sweet-crisp-refreshing apples tossed in a homemade lemon-Dijon dressing. It sounds fancy but it comes together in a flash. The hardest part: washing and prepping the veggies and apples.
What’s in the salad?
- Kale – it’s hearty, filling, nutritous and full of vitamins. It’s curly, thick leaves are great for a salad that you want to dress ahead of time without the fear of it getting soggy. Plus, during the cooler months, it’s plentiful at the markets and grocery stores which means it’s normally a bit more affordable for a big bunch. But if you don’t like kale, no problem, sub out your favorite green like romaine lettuce, arugula, spring mix, shredded cabbage, etc.
- Carrots – vibrant orange carrots make this salad even more aesthetically pleasing. I choose whole carrots because they’re more affordable and I create ribbons using a Y-peeler for an extra special touch. But really, thinly sliced, shredded or even grated carrots will work just fine. Get creative!
- Cucumbers – I love the extra crunch of fresh cucumbers. You can peel them, partially peel them, or keep the skin on and cut them up into bite size pieces. They’re a great way to bulk up the salad and they really absorb the dressing making them pockets of flavor in the salad.
- Chickpeas – drain and rinse a can of chickpeas for a quick and healthy protein boost for this salad. Truth be told, there’s already some protein in the kale, but I love adding peas, beans, lentils, or other proteins to salads to make them feel more like a meal. Chicken or salmon would also work brilliantly here in this salad. You could add them in addition to the chickpeas or as a sustitute.
- Apples – the star of the salad. I picked Honeycrisp apples, one of my favorites at Honey Pot Hill Orchards. The apples were so ripe and fresh that I only used one big apple in this salad and it was plenty. It adds such a refreshing, crisp, sweetness to balance out all the other flavors.
How to Make The Salad
- Gather all your ingredients: Take all your ingredients out and organize them to get ready to prep.
- Wash all of your produce: I love to fill a big bowl with water and a splash of white vinegar and soak my fruits and veggies in it and then give them a quick rinse. The vinegar gives them a good cleaning and it’s a simple solution that I already have stocked in my pantry.
- Prep Your Vegetables: working on at a time, prep your vegetables and apples, and put them into bowls. I like to start with the kale and so I can go ahead and put it in my serving bowl and then portion the other ingredients right on top.
- Prep Extra: A big bundle of kale always gives me more than enough, even for a salad with multiple servings like this one. To prepare for the week, and to make sure it doesn’t go to waste, I clean and prep it all and store it in the fridge so that it’s ready for me to easily use when I come home from work to make a quick dinner.
- Dressing: The dressing can be made and added immediately, if using kale, or right before serving if you use another green (to keep the salad from becoming soggy).
Apple Harvest Salad
- 8 cups curly kale
- 3 small carrots peeled and cut into ribbons
- ½ English cucumber chopped
- 1 large Honeycrisp apple 10 ounces
- 1 can chickpeas drained and rinsed
- 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp table salt
- 1 tsp sugar
- ¼ tsp black pepper to taste
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Fill a large bowl or platter with kale.
- Layer each ingredient on top of the kale.
Make the Dressing
- In small bowl, whisk together Dijon mustard, lemon juice, salt, sugar, and pepper until combined.
- Then slowly drizzle in the olive oil, whisking slowly until combined.
- Pour over the salad and serve. Or if using another green besides kale, pour over the dressing just before serving.