A raw kale salad, with Brussels sprouts and broccoli, combined with apple, dried cranberries and sunflower seeds.
I know it’s not officially Fall, but for me, Fall starts on the day after Labour Day. This salad is my welcome to the most wonderful season and is perfect for early Fall. It’s also a riff on the popular “Super 7” salad kit.
I learned that it was so popular from my daughter, who spent the summer working as a cashier at a local grocery store. She brought one of the salad kits home after work one day, because she figured it must be one heck of a salad if so many people were buying it. According to her, this kit shows up in 80% of grocery orders! And it was pretty good. But at $4-$5 a bag and not really being one for salad kits, I decided that I’d make my own version.
My salad features Paula Red apples, which are the first of the Fall apples to show up at the market here in Ontario. Dried cranberries and roasted sunflower seeds are added for more Fall-themed goodness. All of that is combined with kale and finely chopped Brussels sprouts and broccoli. It’s all topped off with a quick and easy homemade creamy poppy seed dressing. Oh … and I threw in a bit of chopped, cooked bacon, as well, because I had some in the fridge and well, everything’s better with bacon, right?
This recipe will make one really large, two good sized or four side salads. You can prepare the dressing ahead of time and refrigerate. The greens can be chopped and refrigerated ahead. Dress and dice/add the apple just before serving. Be sure to give your kale a good massage (see instructions) before adding to the salad. It makes all the difference when using fresh kale in a salad!
- 2 cups chopped kale
- 6-8 Brussels sprouts, chopped
- 3-4 florets broccoli, chopped
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup roasted sunflower seeds (or pumpkin seeds/pepitas)
- 1 small apple, cored and diced
- (optional) 1 slice bacon, cooked and chopped
- Creamy Poppy Seed Dressing:
- 1 Tbsp. granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 Tbsp. white vinegar
- 2 Tbsp. mayonnaise
- 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
- 1 Tbsp. vegetable or canola oil
- 1 tsp. poppy seeds
- Pinch salt/pepper
- Make poppy seed dressing: Combine all ingredients in a small bowl or jar. Whisk or shake vigorously until combined and creamy. Refrigerate if not using right away.
- For the salad: Prepare greens. For the kale, remove leaves from stem. Discard stem (it's very bitter!). Chop kale leaves in to bite-sized pieces and scatter on a cutting board. Sprinkle with a little salt and rub/massage the kale for a minute or so, until it softens and darkens. Add kale to large bowl. For the Brussels sprouts, remove bottom 1/3 of sprout. Using a sharp knife, thinly slice sprout, turning it on to the flat side after a few slices and continuing to slice until it's all sliced. Add to the bowl with the kale. For the broccoli, remove several florets and finely chop both the flower ends and the stalk. Add to the bowl.
- Add the dried cranberries and roasted sunflower seeds to the bowl. Dice apple (I don't peel) and add to the bowl. Drizzle some of the salad dressing over the salad and toss. Add more dressing as needed.