Crunchy Kale Apricot Salad

July 30, 2022

Summertime is stone fruit season, which means that there is nothing better than fresh, juicy apricots! This Crunchy Kale Apricot Salad by my friend Erin O’Brien is the perfect way to enjoy the delicious produce that this season has to offer. It’s loaded with sweet dates, tangy parmesan cheese, and, of course, crunchy kale, for a flavor that is truly unbeatable!

A large bowl of the crunchy kale apricot salad, sitting on a countertop surrounded by a bowl of almonds, a bowl of dates, and a small dish of sea salt.,

If there is one thing in this world that is better than an absolutely PERFECT kale salad, it’s a crunchy kale salad!

But I can’t take credit for this recipe. This recipe was created by my good friend, Erin O’Brien! Erin and I met last year at an event at one our favorite wineries, Daou Vineyards, and we’ve been inseparable ever since. I had been following Erin on Instagram for a long time, so I have to admit, I was a bit starstruck when I got to see her in person (yes, I, too, get starstruck when I see my favorite creators!).

If you aren’t following Erin on Instagram, you definitely should be. She shares a variety of content – a wonderful blend of lifestyle, home decor, travel, and of course, recipes. Just like mine, her recipes are simple, but full of flavor.

When Erin posted this Crunchy Kale Apricot Salad, I knew I had to make it immediately, because I am, in fact, the kale JUNKIE. And let me tell you, it is the perfect summer salad, with a balance of sweet and savory flavors, and a great way to enjoy apricots!

Two bowls of the crunchy kale apricot salad, sitting on a countertop with forks next to them.

What You Need to Make The Perfect Stone Fruit Kale Salad

This salad comes together with just a few wonderful ingredients, and is bursting with delicious flavors! Trust me when I say that you will absolutely love it.

  • Kale: Pick your favorite kale variety and use it in this recipe! I used curly kale this time, but Dino (Lacinato) kale would be great too. Just remember to remove the leaves from the stems and chop the kale finely.
  • Apricots: Of course, the star of this dish is the apricots! Apricots are full of flavonoids, aka antioxidants that have anti-inflammatory properties. Plus, they are crisp, in-season, and delicious this time of year!
  • Dates: Dates are truly the unsung hero of this salad recipe. They add the perfect amount of sweetness to pair beautifully with the apricots, and the perfect amount of fiber to keep you full and satisfied for a long time!
  • Slivered Almonds: Crunchy slivered almonds are one of my favorite ways to add healthy fats and plant-based protein to salad recipes. Don’t skip these!
  • Pomegranate Seeds: Pomegranate seeds are rich in fiber, antioxidants, and magnesium, and are a delicious, crunchy addition to this salad!
  • Parmesan Cheese: Would it really be a perfect kale salad recipe without parmesan cheese? Kale and parmesan go together like bread and butter. If you are vegan or dairy-free, you can substitute a dairy-free parmesan alternative, instead!
  • Olive Oil: Olive oil forms the base of this dressing, and is one of my favorite oils to use. It is full of heart-healthy fats, and has the best flavor.
  • Balsamic Vinegar: A touch of balsamic helps this dressing come together. Don’t skip this!
  • Honey: Honey adds the perfect amount of natural sweetness to the dressing.
  • Sea Salt & Pepper: And, of course, a touch of salt and pepper helps this salad come to life!

The Key to Making the Perfect Kale, Every Time

Since my name is Kalejunkie, I hear so often from people that they wish they could like kale, but they just can’t get themselves to like it. And if that’s you, then trust me when I say that understand! On its own, kale can be rather bland, and sometimes hard to digest. And that is why the trick to making your kale perfect every time is to massage it!

This step is so easy, and truly makes your kale taste so much better. To massage it, simply start by removing the stems and chopping the kale into your desired size. Next, rinse it thoroughly, then place it in a bowl. Finally, add about a teaspoon or so of sea salt to the kale, and use your hands to massage it into the leaves, until they start to soften. This should only take about a minute or two!

And no, I promise it does NOT make the kale too salty!

By manually massaging it, you’re helping to break up some of the tough fibers, making it softer and easier for your body to digest!

A close-up image of a bowl of the crunchy kale apricot salad

How to Make This Delicious & Easy Summertime Salad

Making this salad could not be any easier! Simply start by preparing your kale according to the directions above. It’s one extra minute that makes all of the difference!

Next, add the rest of your salad ingredients to the bowl and toss to combine them.

Once your salad is prepared, prepare the dressing. Add all of your dressing ingredients to a separate, small bowl and whisk them together, until your dressing is fully formed. Then, pour the dressing over the salad and toss once again, until the salad is fully coated in the dressing.

Serve immediately, or store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days. Enjoy!

If you make this recipe, please be sure to leave a review and rating below! And, since I practically live on Instagram, be sure to tag me and Erin in your creations so that I can repost them! xx

** Photography by Bea Moreno
A large bowl of the crunchy kale apricot salad, sitting on a countertop surrounded by a bowl of almonds, a bowl of dates, and a small dish of sea salt.,
gluten-free/Grain Free/Refined Sugar Free

Crunchy Kale Apricot Salad

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Nicole Modic
Prep Time 10 mins
Total Time 10 mins
SERVES 4 Servings
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Summertime is stone fruit season, which means that there is nothing better than fresh, juicy apricots! This Crunchy Kale Apricot Salad by my friend Erin O'Brien is the perfect way to enjoy the delicious produce that this season has to offer. It's loaded with sweet dates, tangy parmesan cheese, and, of course, crunchy kale, for a flavor that is truly unbeatable!

Ingredients

For the Salad:

  • 1 Bunch Kale chopped very thin
  • 5-6 Apricots
  • 3/4 Cup Dates pitted
  • 3/4 Cup Slivered almonds
  • 3/4 Cup Pomegranate Seeds
  • Parmesan thinly-shaved
  • Sea Salt to taste
  • Black Pepper to taste

For the Dressing:

  • 1/2 Cup Olive Oil
  • 2 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon Honey
  • Sea Salt and Pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Start by preparing your kale; remove and discard the stems, then wash the leaves thoroughly with water and place in a bowl.
  • Next, add about 1 teaspoon of sea salt to the kale and use your hands to massage the salt into the kale, until it begins to soften. This should take about 1-2 minutes.
  • Then, add your remaining salad ingredients to the bowl and toss to combine.
  • Next, prepare the dressing; add all of your dressing ingredients to a small bowl and whisk until they're fully combined.
  • Pour your dressing over the salad, toss until the salad is fully coated in the dressing, and enjoy!
  • Store any leftovers in an airtight container for up to three days.

Did you make this recipe?

I’d love to see what you made – tag @kalejunkie
in your posts and I’ll re-share!

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