Eat Salads

Kale Salad with Cranberry, Fennel, Apple & Goat Cheese

The best winter salad—and the dressing is to die for!

The best winter salad that I can’t get enough of! This is good-for-you kale featuring shaved fennel and brussels sprouts, chopped honeycrisp apple, toasted pepitas, dried cranberries and goat cheese, and tossed in a lemony dressing. I found these gorgeous purple Brussels sprouts which I think really added to the presentation. The dressing is to die for – do yourself a favor and don’t leave out the maple syrup!

Kale Salad with Fennel, Apple & Goat Cheese

Course Salad
Cuisine American
Keyword apple, fennel, goat cheese, kale, kale salad
Prep Time 20 minutes
Servings 6



  • 1 large bunch of kale
  • 1 medium Honeycrisp apple
  • 1 medium bulb of fennel
  • 3 ounces chilled goat cheese, crumbled (to yield about ⅓ cup crumbled)
  • cup dried cranberries
  • ¼ cup pepitas, pumpkin seeds
  • 2 cup brussels sprouts, very thinly sliced (I used purple brussels, which added nice color)
  • Kosher salt, to taste


  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • teaspoon Kosher salt
  • Freshly cracked black pepper


  1. 1. Use a chef’s knife to remove the tough ribs from the kale, then discard the ribs. Chop the kale leaves into small, bite-sized pieces. Transfer the chopped kale to a big bowl. Sprinkle a pinch of Kosher salt over the kale and massage the leaves with your hands by scrunching big handfuls at a time, until the leaves are darker in color and fragrant.

  2. 2. Prepare the remaining salad ingredients. Chop the apple into small, bite-sized pieces. Use a knife or mandoline to slice the fennel and brussels sprouts as thin as possible. Transfer the apple, fennel and brussels sprouts to the salad bowl. Crumble the goat cheese over the salad. Toss in the cranberries, as well. Add Kosher salt, to taste.

  3. 3. Toast the pepitas by putting them on a baking sheet in the toaster oven for just a few minutes. Transfer them to a bowl to cool.

  4. 4. Make the dressing by whisking together all of the dressing ingredients until emulsified in a mall bowl.

  5. 5. Prepare the salad by adding the cooled pepitas to the salad bowl. Drizzle dressing over the salad, just enough to lightly coat the kale once tossed (you might have some leftover dressing). Toss the salad well. For best flavor, let the salad rest for 10+ minutes before serving.

Note: This salad keeps well in the fridge, covered, for a couple of days

Bon Appétit!

4 comments on “Kale Salad with Cranberry, Fennel, Apple & Goat Cheese

  1. Eliza Demaras

    I tried this salad this weekend and it was divine! i didn’t have brussels sprouts but added celery for crunch. You are right about the dressing!

  2. Pingback: 2021 Roundup: The Most-Read Posts – The Modifica

  3. Pingback: Thanksgiving Recipe Roundup – The Modifica

Replies (Would love to hear your thoughts!)

%d bloggers like this: