In this vibrant Kale, Fennel and Apple Salad; kale, thinly sliced cabbage, fennel and apples is tossed is a simple lemon vinaigrette and topped wit pistachios and Pecorino shavings.

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This kale, fennel and apple salad is not just a pretty face. I know it looks kind of fancy, but I swear it’s really not.

On one hand it has a nontraditional combination of fennel and apple. But on the other hand it has kale and cabbage which is fairy common. All in all, this is my new favorite salad since, well this salad. And that was only last week.

I’ve always loved salads. Wait, that’s a lie. I really started to love salads in the last 10 years or so. For example, when my mind was opened up to things like, fruit in salad or all the non-iceberg salads of the world. I started to get excited about all the different combinations. I should preface, that there’s nothing wrong with iceberg, it’s just not very exciting.

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Are you a fennel fan? Fan of fennel? Fennel fanatic? Sorry. Raw fennel is delicious, not that roasted isn’t. But I crave the crisp, fresh and faintly licorice flavor. And it’s the absolute best in salads.

ingredients for Kale, Fennel and Apple Salad

To Make This Kale, Fennel and Apple Salad you will Need:

  • lacinato kaleSlightly sweeter and more delicate than the curly leaf variety.
  • fennelAdds a refreshing licorice flavor. You will need the bulb and fronds for this recipe.
  • purple cabbageAdds a pop of color and is mild and slightly sweet and peppery.
  • green apple slicesLends tart acidic flavor and is crisp and refreshing.
  • pistachiosAdds crunch and an earthy nutty flavor.
  • PecorinoLends some salty sharp richness.

for the dressing:

  • olive oilLends fat and flavor.
  • lemon juiceAdds subtle citrus flavor and acidity.
  • champagne vinegarAlso adds acidity which will brighten the flavors of the salad.
  • kosher saltEnhances the flavors in this recipe.

champagne vinaigrette

Make the vinaigrette:

This recipe only has 4 ingredients and is super easy to make. To make it you will need; 6 tablespoons olive oil, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 2 tablespoons champagne vinegar and kosher salt. Lastly, shake to combine. This is the perfect light dressing for this salad.

prep ingredients

Prep the ingredients:

Next, wash the kale well. Use a knife and run the tip along each side of the stem and discard. Alternatively you can strip the leaves off by holding the stem in your left hand and pulling the leaves off in the opposite direction with your right hand. Stack the leaves on top of each other and chop. Then give it another rinse. This is exactly why I love my salad spinner.

Core and slice the cabbage, fennel and green apple thinly. Then, to keep the apple slices from oxidizing and turning brown, I toss them in a little bit of lemon juice. Doing this won’t make the salad overly lemony.

Add to a bowl

Next, gently toss the kale, fennel, cabbage, apple and fennel fronds into a salad bowl.


Gently toss the kale, fennel and apple salad until combined and then drizzle with a little of the lemon champagne vinegar.

Kale, Fennel and Apple Salad

Finally top with shavings of pecorino, shelled and chopped pistachios and a few grinds of black pepper. Because it’s really all bout those extra toppings, right?

Kale, Fennel and Apple Salad

Enjoy! And if you give this Kale Fennel and Apple Salad recipe a try, let me know! Snap a photo and tag me on twitter or instagram!

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Yield: 4 servings

Kale, Fennel and Apple Salad

Kale, fennel and apple salad is not only gorgeous but it's SO incredibly delicious too. Kale, fennel, cabbage and green apples is tossed and topped with pistachios, shaved pecorino and black pepper. Drizzle that with a little of the lemon champagne vinaigrette and prepare to fall in love.



  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons champagne vinegar
  • kosher salt, to taste
  • 1 bunch lacinato kale
  • 1 cup thinly sliced cabbage
  • 1 medium bulb fennel, cored and sliced (saving the fronds)
  • 1 granny smith apple, cored and sliced thin*
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped pistachios
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup shaved pecorino Calabrese cheese, or Parmesan


  • In a jar or a container with a tight fitting lid, add in the lemon juice, champagne vinegar, olive oil and salt. Shake well.
  • Rinse the kale well and use the tip of the knife and run it down either side of the kale stem and discard.
  • Then stack the kale leaves, and chop. (I always clean my kale a second time in my salad spinner.
  • Toss the chopped kale, fennel, a couple tablespoons of the chopped fennel fronds, cabbage and apple together in a large bowl. Serve and top with pistachios, shaved Pecorino and freshly ground black pepper, then drizzle with the lemon champagne vinaigrette.


*To keep the apples from oxidizing and turning brown, I toss my apples in a little bit of lemon juice.
Serving: 1salad, Calories: 382kcal, Carbohydrates: 23g, Protein: 9g, Fat: 30g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g, Monounsaturated Fat: 19g, Cholesterol: 7mg, Sodium: 140mg, Potassium: 847mg, Fiber: 5g, Sugar: 7g, Vitamin A: 7161IU, Vitamin C: 106mg, Calcium: 227mg, Iron: 2mg