Apple, Kale and Cabbage Salad

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I love the flavors in this beautiful Apple, Kale and Cabbage Salad.  Crunchy carrots, raw kale and red cabbage mixed alongside sweet apples, slivered almonds and sweet dried blueberries, then topped with a sweet and tangy apple cider vinaigrette.

Flavor packed Apple, Kale and Cabbage Salad - ZagLeft

When I travel, I often find that I eat foods I don’t normally eat.  Most of the time, I try to eat local and enjoy the cuisine unique to the area.  Other times, my choices are limited and I’m stuck with choosing what I find to be the lesser of two evils.

At home, I believe in balance and in moderation.  Since I taste a lot of desserts when I develop recipes, I try to eat well all…er, most other times.  

When my husband and I visited Somona County in California several months ago, we ate healthier than I think we do even when we’re home.  This comes as no surprise, I’m sure.  Everywhere you look in Sonoma County, fresh foods can be found.

We love discovering new restaurants as well as revisiting our old favorites.  No trip would be complete without a visit to Partake by K-J in Healdsburg for a fabulous glass of Kendall Jackson wine and appetizers, or to Riviera Ristorante in Santa Rosa where it would not be uncommon for us to eat dinner almost every night of our trip, or finally, lunch at Korbel in Guerneville to enjoy one of their many delicious salads along with a glass of champagne.

Ingredients for Apple, Kale and Cabbage Salad - Zagleft

At one of the restaurants we stopped at – in between wine tastings 🙂 , I had a fantastic vegetarian salad packed with plenty of fresh vegetables, raw kale, crunchy nuts and topped with a flavorful sweet and tangy vinaigrette.

The flavors in this colorful salad came together perfectly, each one complimenting the other.  It was a hearty and healthy bowl of color that I could have honestly eaten every single day of our trip.

fresh ingredients for kale salad zagleftVisiting restaurants in different cities and countries is such a great source of inspiration.  When I travel, if I find a great dish I love, I jot down the name of it into the notes section of my iPhone so I can remember it and recreate it when I get back home.  A version of this particular Apple, Kale and Cabbage salad was one of the last items on my list and it’s a winner for sure.

This colorful bowl of grated carrots, finely chopped kale, vibrant red cabbage and sweet chunks of apples are mixed with a sweet and tangy apple cider vinaigrette.  For added flavor and crunch, I tossed in a handful of sliced almonds and sweet dried blueberries.

But, seriously…look at the colors!  Beautiful aren’t they?

Fresh Apple, Kale and Cabbage Salad from ZagLeft

I bought a spiralizer last month and thought I would use it on the carrots but my carrots were too thin and kept falling apart.  So, I sprialized some of the carrots and grated the rest.  I also thinly sliced a half of a small head of red cabbage and added it to the bowl and I finely chopped up kale which added a healthy boost of color.  For added crunch and flavor, I tossed in apple pieces, dried blueberries and slivered almonds.  Every bite was as crunchy as it was beautiful and all completely delicious.

I added a tablespoon of lemon juice to the salad and mixed it well to keep the apples from turning brown.  Then, I whisked together apple cider vinegar, olive oil, honey, salt and pepper to drizzle over the top of the salad.  Sweetness with a touch of tang.  Perfect!

Apple, Kale and Carrot Salad from ZagLeft

So here’s a random question for you, do you know the best way I’ve found to clean kale?

Actually, this tip works for cleaning most vegetables.  I first rinse the vegetable or fruit under running water, then I place it into a large bowl, cover it with water and add a couple of tablespoons of apple cider vinegar.

The vinegar and water combination is a great cleaning solution and best of all, it’s chemical free.

I mix it around a little in the water, then I let the produce soak for about 10 minutes.  After I drain it and rinse it well, the fruit, vegetable or in this case, the kale is ready to be eaten.

Cleaning Kale ZagLeftThis lovely Apple, Kale and Cabbage salad is perfect to enjoy during the upcoming holiday season.  You can be sure I’ll  be keeping a big bowl of this salad in the refrigerator to eat for lunch and also enjoying it often as a side dish at our dinner table.

I find it keeps well in the refrigerator for a day or so and actually the flavors intensify.

Apple, Kale and Cabbage Salad - Zagleft

You can really alter the ingredients in this salad very easily.  I threw in dried blueberries because that’s what I had on hand.  You could add dried cranberries, walnuts and feta cheese or some chopped red peppers and a few cucumber pieces.  Choose the ingredients you love and enjoy!

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5 from 1 vote
Flavor packed Apple, Kale and Cabbage Salad - ZagLeft
Apple, Kale and Cabbage Salad
Prep Time
15 mins
Total Time
15 mins

Beautiful Apple, Kale and Cabbage Salad with crunchy carrots, raw kale and red cabbage mixed alongside sweet apples, slivered almonds and sweet dried blueberries, then topped with a sweet and tangy apple cider vinaigrette.

Course: Salad
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Joanie Zisk
  • 4 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • pinch of black pepper
  • 2 large carrots , scrubbed, peeled and coarsely grated
  • 1/2 cups head of red cabbage , finely chopped (about 2 )
  • 2 cups raw kale , finely chopped
  • 1 large apple , peeled, cored and diced
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 cup slivered almonds
  • 1 cup Craisins Blueberries (or other dried fruit)
  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the apple cider vinegar, olive oil, honey, salt and pepper. Set aside.
  2. Place the carrots, cabbage, kale and apples in a large bowl.
  3. Mix in the lemon juice.
  4. Add the almonds and dried blueberries.
  5. Pour the vinaigrette over the top and toss.


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  1. Although you wrote this during a different holiday season I think that all of the pretty color would be gorgeous for Easter, too! This does look really good. 🙂

  2. When I travel I love eating locally and fresh. Plus when I travel so much of it surrounds food…haha. I plan where I’m going to eat from day one. This salad looks super fresh and totally delicious!

  3. This is gorgeous! I am in the middle of making it right now, but it’s just so darn pretty that I wanted to leave a comment before I forgot. I make a similar kale, carrot, cabbage, and scallion salad with a honey lemon tahini dressing. It’s always a winner. Your addition of the apples and blueberries, though, add a nice sweet counterbalance to the bitter kale and update the ingredients with more fall flair. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Seriously the best salad I've ever eaten. I now make it all the time for parties and everyone requests it now. Definitely time consuming to put together but soooooo worth it. Thanks!

  5. I made this salad a few years ago for my family’s large Christmas Eve dinner and everyone could not stop gushing about how delicious it was. Everyone wanted the recipe. I love this salad so much, that this year for Thanksgiving I’ll be making it again here in Korea where I now live. I can’t wait to hear how much all my friends enjoy it. It’s the perfect holiday salad!

  6. I want to make this salad for my friends today… its look so delicious but I wonder if i could use fresh blueberries instead? Or rather some raisins?


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