Before I started cooking, I was known for my salad making abilities. People in the office used to see me assembling mountain high salads at lunch and always remarked how good they looked. Back then, my secret was in the toppings. I eat salads on a near daily basis and have a few favorites that I rotate, but this one is so good that I just had to share. This salad is also perfect for Fall as it features Granny Smith Apples which are perfectly crisp and deliciously tart these days. I also really recommend making the dressing that goes with it! I used to use bottled dressings but after finding out I had Celiac, I realized I didn’t like the taste of any gluten-free bottled dressings. Plus, once I saw the ingredient lists for those dressings, I decided to leave them behind and start making my own. I have a few favorites that I’ll be sure to share in upcoming posts, but this dressing works perfectly with this salad as it’s garlic-y, sweet and savory all at the same time. This is also a great one to impress guests with as it comes together quickly but tastes so delicious it will seem like restaurant-quality and will fit any audience as it’s naturally, gluten-free, dairy-free and paleo!
Paleo Quadruple Crunch Salad
Serves 4 Large, entrée size salads
- 1 Bunch Lacinato Kale
- 1 Bag Shredded Red Cabbage (or approx. 1 cup)
- 2 Large Granny Smith Apples
- 1/3 C. Roasted Unsalted Almonds
- 1/4 C. Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
- 2 Garlic Cloves
- 1 1/4 t. Honey
- 1 1/4 t. Dijon Mustard
- 1 Meyer Lemon, juiced (or approx. 3 T)
1. After washing and drying the kale, remove kale leaves from the stem. If you haven’t done this before, hold the kale leaf by the stem with one hand, and using your other hand pull the leaves from the stem in an upward direction. It sounds more complicated than it is but I promise it’s really quite easy.
2. Cut your kale leaves into thin slices. I like to do this by layering a few leaves on top of each other, bunching them up a little and cutting them in small strips with a sharp chopping knife.
3. Next, cut your apples into matchsticks. This shape works perfectly with the salad and ensures the apples still keep their crunch factor.
4. Roughly chop almonds and combine all ingredients into a bowl.
5. Now it’s time for the dressing! First, juice a Meyer lemon in a bowl, so you have approximately 3 Tablespoons worth of juice.
6. Mince 2 garlic cloves and add to the lemon juice.
7. Next, combine honey and Dijon mustard with dressing.
8. Slowly add in olive oil, whisking the mixture together with a fork or whisk. At this point, I like to taste the dressing and make sure it’s got that perfect ratio of sweet and savory and make any adjustments as needed.
9. Pour dressing over salad and massage the dressing into the mixture with clean hands. This is a crucial part so don’t skip this step! By massaging the dressing into the kale, the cellulose structure breaks down and wilts the kale slightly so it is much softer (but still crunchy) and takes away the bitter taste.
10. Plate your salad and enjoy!