about me

    Emily Malone

    culinary arts grad. nutrition facts lover. vegetarian chef. marathon runner. country music maniac. failed dog trainer. barre fanatic. loving mama.

    Contact Emily



    What’s Cooking?

    Personal Bests

    5K - 23:28

    10K - 52:35

    15K - 1:38:14

    1/2 Marathon - 1:57:39

    Marathon - 3:50:58

    A Look Back.

Balsamic Kale Salad with Apple and Pear.

I think it’s becoming obvious that I really like kale salads.  I’m actually not a huge fan of cooked kale or kale chips, but I do love me a raw salad. 

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This particular salad is a combination of all my favorite things – savory (kale), sweet (fruit & maple), and tangy acid (balsamic).  It is great on its own as a lunch salad, or paired with something like brown rice or quinoa as an entrée. 

Balsamic Kale Salad with Apple and Pear

by Emily Malone

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 0 minutes

Ingredients (4 servings)

    For the Salad
    • 2 small heads Italian or Dinosaur kale
    • 1 large apple
    • 1 large pear
    • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
    • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
    • salt (to taste)

    For the Dressing

    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 tablespoon orange juice
    • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
    • 1 tablespoon maple syrup


    Rinse kale and tear the leaves from the stems. I prefer the flat Italian or Dinosaur kale for raw salads, but you can use any type you like. The curly kale is a bit heartier, and in my opinion is better suited for cooked applications.

    Thinly slice the apple and pear, and add to a large salad bowl along with the sunflower seeds and dried cranberries.

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    In a small dish, whisk dressing ingredients together until well combined.  Drizzle dressing over salad, and then toss until all dressing and mix-ins are well distributed.

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    Season to taste with kosher salt, serve, and enjoy!

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    It’s getting to be that time of year when I don’t want heavy, hot food as often, and instead prefer giant heaping bowls of refreshing salads and veggies.

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    This is a great salad to make for dinner, and pack up the leftovers for lunch the next day.  Light, refreshing, and healthy!

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    52 Comments so far
    Leave a comment

    Leah @ DeLeahLicious     at 7:37 pm

    I’m currently obsessed with balsamic vinegar on my salads. I definitely need to make this!


    Carrie     at 7:45 pm

    Yum! This sounds like a great salad! If I’m eating kale raw, I definitely prefer dinosaur kale. Usually around here I can only find curly kale.


    Alex @ Raw Recovery     at 7:48 pm

    Looks delicious! I’m actually the opposite- I like kale chips but I most prefer my kale in a smoothie with some coconut water, an apple, a banana, and some chlorella tablets. I do love fruit in salads though so this is a recipe I’d definitely try! Have a good night, Emily!


    Shay @ Whine Less, Breathe More     at 8:13 pm

    I live on salads during warmer weather. I’m ready for the salad season to begin!


    Julie @ Wearing Mascara     at 8:34 pm

    This looks great. Oddly, I’m not a huge apple fan but I may try it with just pears. I love fruit but not apples! I’m so strange. :-)


    LaceyAnn     at 8:48 pm

    I feel the same way about kale! Love it raw in salads and can pass up the chip and cooked versions.
    I have been ‘pinning’ kale salads like nobody’s business and this one is definitely making it onto my pinterest board. I may need a kale salad board all to itself soon!
    Thanks for the recipe, it looks great!


    Lauren @ Sassy Molassy     at 9:05 pm

    This looks awesome and perfect for an early summer picnic/bbq!


    Amber K     at 10:33 pm

    I have never tried it in a salad, but kale chips are horrible! And I even tried to add it to a smoothie, but unlike spinach I could not get rid of the taste of it for the life of me.


    emmycooks     at 11:53 pm

    That is beautiful! I like leaving big leaves but have also enjoyed kale salads where it’s chopped into kale confetti. I posted recently about one has currants and pine nuts, but a lemony dressing instead of balsamic: http://emmycooks.com/2012/01/07/the-best-soup-of-2011/ I look forward to trying yours and agree about salads making a great summer meal…if and when summer finally comes to Seattle. :)


    Emily Malone Reply:

    Summer IS coming! So much sun this week! :)


    Tessa @ Amazing Asset     at 3:52 am

    What a lovely recipe for spring… so fresh, flavorful and nutritious! Thanks for the idea :)


    Adrienne J     at 4:50 am

    This looks so tasty and easy! I’m excited to try it. I’ve needed some more salad variety in my life!!


    Coco     at 5:08 am

    I love kale salads and cooked kale- I can’t get on board with the chips.. not so much. I have never made kale salad with sweet ingredients- and this looks great! Must try :)


    Melissa @ HerGreenLife     at 6:22 am

    I love sunflower seeds on salads. I buy raw sunflower seeds from the bulk bins and toast them in the microwave or toaster oven. The toasting/roasting really gives extra flavor. If you’ll have leftovers, I recommend waiting to add sunflower seeds to individual servings just before eating so they stay nice and crunchy.


    Emily Malone Reply:

    Good idea!


    Katie @ Creature of Habit     at 6:26 am

    Look delicious! And just in time for spring! Of course it poured a boatload here last night and now all I want is hot soup but I’m sure the sticky days of summer will be here in no time and this will be the perfect thing to cool me off.


    Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Pepper     at 6:32 am

    YUM! I’ve tried Kale and didn’t care for it. However when I was at Trader Joe’s a gentleman there told me he grows Kale and there’s so many varities, he recommended for me to try it again, so I will and use it with your recipe. I can’t wait!


    Heidi from BundlesofHugs     at 7:25 am

    This is one of my favorite salads! I haven’t made in it a while but you’ve inspired me. Your salad dressing sounds delicious I’m so making this :)


    Judy     at 8:04 am

    I live in Pinehurst, NC (Small village) and the only kale I can find is curly kale. But sometimes it is tough after I cook it….do you know why….did I just buy some old kale at the store? Any ideas.


    Emily Malone Reply:

    Curly kale just tends to be a little heartier than the flat varieties. I think it’s tough too!


    Robin     at 8:32 am

    The only kind of kale I have ever seen is curly, as well. I love this recipe, though, due to the everyday ingredients that I would likely have on hand. I dread buying a ‘special’ ingredient to try a new recipe, only to find I didn’t like the recipe after all. Then I’m left trying to find other ways to use it up.


    Angela @ Happy Fit Mama     at 10:34 am

    I’m a big fan of Kale any way it’s served. I’m loving salads right now. Greens and fruit always hit the spot!


    James     at 10:36 am

    That salad looks good. I just came across your site and will be adding it to my google reader, your recipes look yummy!


    Emily Malone Reply:

    Welcome, James! :)


    Brittany     at 10:58 am

    Kale is addicting. I love it in any way. This recipe looks great.


    Leah     at 11:14 am

    Many noms. Thank you. I love anything that incorporates real maple syrup. #NewEngland


    Alexis     at 11:42 am

    I’d love to see some of my favorite bloggers participating in this! A Food Blogger Bake Sale to end childhood hunger, such an amazing cause… http://blog.foodnetwork.com/fn-dish/2012/03/28/share-our-strength-food-blogger-bake-sale/


    Tamara     at 3:06 pm

    Emily! I didn’t use kale *yuck!* but used this dressing on spinach salad and it was magnificent.


    Emily Malone Reply:

    Haha glad you found your own use for it! :)


    Dawn Reply:

    Tamara, have you tried baby kale? I, like you, don’t like kale, but I really do enjoy baby kale.


    Tamara Reply:

    Baby kale is much better :) I also found that kale in the summer months is so much better than what I can find in the winter.


    Emily @ Life on Food     at 4:59 pm

    Haha I am the exact opposite. I love the sauteed and baked versions of kale. Whatever way you eat kale it is still a great super food.


    elizabeth Reply:

    Me too, I love sauteed kale. I blanch and freeze enough from the garden to last me the whole winter and spring. Cook it up with some garlic and a little tamari and eat it with some type of grain, I never get tired of it, except when I’m craving a crunchy salad.


    Jen     at 5:05 pm

    raw kale question emily! you have got me totally hooked on raw kale now. i want to try just a simple oil and balsamic vinegar because i have this amazing balsamic i love. i doubt i would even need maple. for one salad how much each of oil and balsamic would you estimate to be good and do i need to add anything else? do i “massage” both the oil and balsamic or just oil? thank you so so much for your expertise!


    Emily Malone Reply:

    For one person? I’d probably to a tablespoon of each – maybe a little less on the oil. Whisk them together and then massage!


    Jen Reply:

    thank you so much! do you think it won’t be too bitter without any sweetener like maple?


    karene angela     at 10:46 am

    I love kale and have been making the same kale salad for a while. I’d like to try this one but can’t eat balsamic (I get a migraine) what could I use instead?


    Emily Malone Reply:

    Any other sweet vinegar. Maybe rice wine? It will taste a bit different than the original, but probably still good.


    karene angela Reply:

    Thanks Emily, have all the ingredients for the salad and will make tonight


    Sophie     at 4:51 am

    I know this seems quite random, but have you ever thought of becoming a wellness coach! (You are such an inspiration!)


    Emily Malone Reply:

    Haha I haven’t, but thank you! Maybe some day!


    Angela     at 6:14 am

    I keep looking for a way to try kale. This may be it :)


    Shannon @ My Place In The Race     at 7:24 am

    Ummm yummmm!! :)


    Sunday Funday: My Favorite Posts From The Blogosphere This Week! | Dash of Curry     at 4:18 am

    [...] I love kale, balsamic vinegar, apples and pears, so of course, when creatively paired together in one beautiful salad, naturally, I just wanna have it!  It’s basically raw, so as far as salads go, it suits me [...]

    Jacquelyn     at 1:51 pm

    Just made this! So yummy!!!


    Sarah G     at 3:26 pm

    My husband never enjoys fruity green salads… but this was a major hit and he even requested it for work the next day and for the upcoming family reunion. Thanks for another simple yet refreshing way to mix unexpected ingredients!!


    Holly     at 8:18 pm

    This has become my go-to easy work lunch. Thanks for posting it and best of luck for the next few weeks!


    Trlberdrcem     at 12:04 am

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    What I Eat | BrittanyandTahn     at 3:27 pm

    [...] Minute Four Bean Vegetarian Chilli, Vegetable Quinoa Salad with Miso Dressing, Macaroni & Peas, Balsamic Kale Salad with Apple and Pear, Tofu Dippers, Roasted Chickpea Tacos, Cranberry Orange Lentil Quinoa [...]

    50 Recipes Under 5 Ingredients | Cooking for Bros | @cookingforbros     at 11:59 am

    [...] Kale Salad with Apple and Pear from Daily Garnish [...]

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