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Kale Salad Recipe with Apple and Dried Sour Cherries

Kale Salad Recipe with Apple and Dried Sour Cherries

A Good Carrot’s Kale Salad Recipe

If you have one kale dish in your repertoire, this kale salad recipe with apple and dried sour cherries has to be it. I have converted many skeptics to actually liking kale (or at least being less skeptical), once tasting this recipe. Truth be told, this is not an original recipe of mine. It’s from Cynthia Lair, a professor at Bastyr University, who has written wonderful books such as Feeding the Whole Family, Feeding the Young Athlete, and is the mastermind behind the amazing cooking video series, Cookus Interruptus. If you are not familiar with Cookus Interruptus, stop what you are doing NOW, and go watch a video, or two, or three. You will be laughing, I promise, and feeling less terrible how about life gets in the way of cooking sometimes, okay, all the time.

I like to serve this salad with one or all of the following dishes: Mom’s Meatball Recipe with Parsley and Onion Salad, Marinated Carrot Salad Recipe, and Turkish-Style Braised Leeks.


Massaged Kale Salad with Apple and Dried Sour Cherries

My eight year-old daughter will eat this salad. She loves it. The sweet element of apples and dried fruit are what makes it for her, she puts up with the rest. 

Massaging the kale is the key element to this dish, so do not skip that step. 

Course Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine California, Vegetable
Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 3 -4


  • 1 bunch lacinato* kale about 1/2 pound
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ cup sunflower seeds toasted, some reserved for garnish
  • 1/8 cup very thinly sliced onion red or white, chopped scallions work too
  • 2 Tablespoons dried tart cherries or cranberries or other dried fruit roughly chopped
  • 1 small apple cored and diced
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1-2 Tablespoons unfiltered apple cider vinegar


  1. Remove stems from kale leaves by pulling leaf away from both sides of the stem in one swift movement. Once de-stemmed, in 2 batches, stack leaves, roll up and cut into thin ribbons (chiffonade). Wash and drain well in a colander.
  2. While draining, prepare sunflower seeds, onion, dried fruit and apple. To toast sunflower seeds, put in a dry skillet over low heat for a few minutes, stirring often, until they give off a nutty aroma, and remove immediately from the pan so they don't over toast.
  3. Put drained kale in a salad bowl. Add salt, massage salt into kale with your hands for 1-2 minutes. Do not rinse.
  4. Pour off any leftover liquid after massaging kale. Stir onion, dried fruit, apple and most of the toasted seeds into kale. Dress with oil and vinegar and toss. Taste for salt and vinegar, adding more if necessary. Garnish with sunflower seeds and serve.

Recipe Notes

*Lacinato kale is also goes by the names black kale, Cavolo Nero, Dinosaur Kale, Tuscan kale. It is my first choice for kale variety in this recipe, due to texture, but others could work as well.

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