Come fall, I go into full cooking mode: pot roast in the slow-cooker, meat braising on the stove top, veggies roasting in the oven. But I still crave fresh, in-season fruits and veggies. That’s where this Bacon Apple Kale Salad comes in.
There’s a great bar in Portland called Radio Room, and after eating a version of this salad there, I knew I needed to make it for myself. I’m a big texture person, and this salad has it all.
It basically has four different types of crunch: Tart, juicy crunch from the Granny Smith apples; fatty, crispy crunch from the bacon; satisfying, meaty crunch from the walnuts; and chewy, leafy crunch from the kale.
The Parmesan and apple cider vinaigrette, with honey and lemon, help round out the fall flavors in this Bacon Apple Kale Salad. The bacon and Parm are sure to please even the most ardent salad-haters. What’s more, this salad is filling, and it’s perfect to take to work for lunch.
To make this salad ahead, assemble salad and dressing ingredients separately, and store the dressing in a shakeable container like a mason jar or an empty gelato container. No soggy salads here!
Bacon Apple Kale Salad
For the salad
- 8 strips of bacon
- 2 bunches of kale (about 10 leaves)
- 2 granny smith apples, cored and chopped
- ½ cup grated parmesan
- 6 ounces walnuts, roughly chopped
For the dressing
- ½ cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons honey
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Line baking sheet with aluminum foil and place bacon strips side-by-side in pan. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until crispy. Transfer to paper-towel lined plate to cool.
- While bacon is cooking, wash and de-stem kale. Roughly chop the the leaves, place in large salad bowl and give them a good massage. This softens the kale and makes it easier to chew!
- Chop or crumble the cooled bacon into bite-sized pieces and add to kale, along with remaining ingredients. Toss to combine.
- Mix dressing ingredients by whisking in a bowl or shaking in a jar. Pour dressing over salad immediately before serving. Enjoy!
Looking for more fall recipes? Try my Butternut Squash Salad or my Pumpkin Risotto. Because you can never eat too much squash.