Crunchy kale tossed in a creamy Honey Mustard dressing, with juicy, sweet baked apple, rich chestnuts, and fresh Feta cheese… this is like the BEST salad to make up for all of those Christmas cookies, and the 1 or 2 too many we’ve been eating all month long.
Main or Side dish?
This recipe also makes an awesome side for your Christmas dinner. It is not too difficult, and it will impress your guests! Even the name itself will “Winter Salad with Baked Apple”, already sounds pretty fancy.. no? Although it sounds pretty fancy, and tastes delicious, it is not too hard to make. I love eating a larger serving of this as a light lunch or serve it along with some meat or fish as a side dish.
Why is it special?
This salad recipe is not as refreshing as other ones are, but it is winter, so I think something more comforting and cozy is just right. These are also all seasonal foods, which I love. The ones I used for the salad, which basically is kale, apple, chestnuts, and sheep’s cheese, are all from Austria. This means that the transportation did not produce a lot of CO2, which is better for the climate. If you wish to make this recipe vegan, you can simply leave out the cheese, and there you are.
What is in it?
The Apple adds a sweetness to the earthy kale, which, I believe, balances the entire salad out a lot. It also adds a kick and makes the salad not taste boring! The chestnuts add a winter feeling, because they are a very typical food at this time of the year (at least in Austria you can find them at every corner in December). The ingredients just work in great harmony.
Also the honey mustard dressing goes along perfectly with the apples and the kale. If you have fresh figs on hand, go ahead and throw them in because this combination is bomb too! Or if you don’t like the raw kale, you can steam it for a few minutes to make it softer, or use lambs lettuce instead! But, we are going to massage the dressing into the kale anyway, which is going to make it taste better and easier to digest.
When to serve?
Because we don’t add the dressing at the very end, as you would do with a regular salad, this is a great make-ahead dish. You can prepare the salad before the guest are coming, then simply bake the apples, cut them up, and you are ready to go! It also works as a leftover the next day.
Along with my green beans with almond bread crumbs, my caramelized pecan and fog salad or my vegan fall harvest salad this dish is a super delicious side dish for your Christmas dinner. Delicious and nutritious, plus it will impress your guests!
Katie // Une Petite Cuisinière
Winter Salad with Baked Apple
A delicious winter salad that includes all the delicious and warming ingredients of the season. Sweet and soft apples pair perfectly with rich chestnuts and earthy kale. All tossed in a honey mustard dressing!
What you will need
That is what you will need:
- 6 handful kale stems removed
- 2 apples core removed
- 150 g chestnuts
- 100 g Feta Cheese
- some nuts (optional)
For the Dressing:
- 2 tbsp Mustard
- 1.5 tbsp honey
- 2 tbsp orange juice fresh preferably
- 1 tbsp Olive Oil
- 1.5 tbsp white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
- salt & pepper
That’s how it works:
Preheat the oven to 200C. Cut the apples in half. Take the chestnuts and cut a thin slice on one side (this is a necessary step, because otherwise they will explode, and your kitchen will look like a mess, talking from experience :)).
Once the oven is preheated, add the apples and chestnuts onto a baking rack. This works best if you place the chestnuts in a bowl, and put this on the rack, and take another bowl, and place on the very bottom of the oven, so the juice that will drop from the apples doesn’t stick and burn on the oven bottom. Bake them for 15-18 minutes.
Meanwhile wash the kale and rip it into small bite-sized pieces. In a separate, smaller bowl add the honey, mustard, orange juice, oil, vinegar, and salt. Stir until well combined. Pour the dressing over the kale and gently massage it into it with your hands. This way the kale is able to absorb the flavor, taste less butter, and is easier to digest. Set it aside for at least 10 minutes.
Cut up the feta into about 1cm sized cubes. Once the apples and chestnuts are done baking take them out. Cube the Apple into small bites. Also peel and roughly mince the chestnuts. Add everything to the kale and give it a gentle mix until it is all evenly distributed.
Serve and enjoy! If wished, add some cracked nuts on top, for extra crunch!