Holiday Kale Salad with Spiced Cider Dressing

Holiday Kale Salad with Apples, Soaked Golden Raisins and Spiced Cider Dressing

Hi guys! Just a quick hello to let you know that I’m sharing a recipe over on Stephanie Kay Nutrition today – a super easy kale salad to gear us up for a season of gatherings! Holidays are all about family and food and if I can’t be with my sister then I’m just glad to be sharing a little salad with her.

I am always one to offer to bring a salad or some vegetables to the party, and this is one of my favorite salad recipes for bringing to a holiday pot luck or dinner party. I try to keep the produce simple and as local as possible, so here I’ve chosen sturdy tuscan kale and crunchy gala apples. Tuscan kale holds up nicely to any dressing, and doesn’t wilt after time – this salad actually tastes best once it has been marinating in the fridge for a little while. I love dried fruit in a salad but I often find it can be a bit heavy on the sweet side so these soaked golden raisins are just the perfect thing; sweet, juicy and a good burst of acidity from the apple cider vinegar. From there we add toasted hazelnuts (an apple’s best friend) and a simple dressing spiked with just a pinch of holiday spices.  I love the simplicity of this kale salad, the colours and the textures.

Wishing you all a very merry start to the holiday season. Scroll down or head over to Kay Nutrition for the full recipe.

Stay green. Now go get festive.


Holiday Kale Salad with Apples, Soaked Golden Raisins and Spiced Cider DressingHoliday Kale Salad with Apples, Soaked Golden Raisins and Spiced Cider Dressing


Serves 4. Vegan + Gluten Free.



1/4 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 bunch tuscan kale (aka lacinato kale, cavolo nero or dino kale)
2 small or 1 large red gala apples, thinly sliced
1/2 cup hazelnuts


1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar (from the raisins)
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1 teaspoon tamari
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch each ground nutmeg and cloves
1 small clove of garlic, finely grated with a microplane grater


Place the raisins in a small jar and cover with apple cider vinegar. Let sit for 10 minutes while you are making the salad or in the fridge overnight. Strain, reserving apple cider vinegar and set soaked raisins aside.

Remove the tough stems from the kale and thinly slice the leaves. The thinner the better. Place sliced kale in a salad bowl.

Place hazelnuts in a dry pan over medium heat. Toast until skins are dark and cracking, shaking often to prevent burning. When the hazelnuts are deep brown in color, remove from heat and tip into a dry, clean tea towel. Rub the hazelnuts together in the tea towel until the skins flake off. Remove the nuts from the tea towel and return them to the pan, toasting until they reach a deep, warm brown. Roughly chop the hazelnuts, leaving a few larger pieces.

Make the dressing. Add olive oil, apple cider vinegar, mustard, tamari, spices and garlic to a jar with a tight fitting lid. Secure the lid on the jar and shake until dressing is emulsified. Taste and adjust seasoning as need.

Add thinly sliced apples, toasted hazelnuts and soaked raisins to the salad bowl with the kale. Drizzle over a small amount of dressing and toss to coat, massaging the kale as you go. Add in enough dressing to cover the salad. Taste a piece of kale and add in remaining dressing as needed. Serve immediately or allow to marinated in the fridge for up to one hour before serving.

Let me in on your kitchen creations – tag your photos #happyheartedkitchen and share the love!


  • Reply
    Jessie Snyder | Faring Well
    December 16, 2016 at 4:39 pm

    So beautiful Jodi! And so sweet you are sharing this with your sis <3. Merry Christmas sweet friend!

    • Reply
      Jodi Kay
      December 20, 2016 at 10:00 pm

      May your days be merry and bright, dearest Jessie! Thank you for stopping by :) Happy holidays to you and yours x

  • Reply
    December 18, 2016 at 11:13 am

    Apple cider vinegar marinated raisins? That’s genius!

    • Reply
      Jodi Kay
      December 20, 2016 at 10:01 pm

      Thanks Marta! They are delicious :) I can’t take credit for the idea though, I’ve definitely seen that one before! x

  • Reply
    Sus Davy
    December 19, 2016 at 6:52 am

    Hurrah for festive salads!!! Loving the new look also Ms Kay! xx

    • Reply
      Jodi Kay
      December 20, 2016 at 10:02 pm

      Thanks Sus! I slow transition working out a few details but a little update was needed :) happy days babe x

  • Reply
    A Very Veggie Christmas - 30+ Festive Recipes - Rough Measures
    December 20, 2016 at 10:53 am

    […] Holiday Kale Salad with Spiced Cider Dressing – Happy Hearted Kitchen (vegan + gluten free) […]

  • Reply
    Emilia Radow Ingvarson
    December 23, 2016 at 1:43 am

    This salad will be my new Christmas Eve favourite!

    • Reply
      Jodi Kay
      December 24, 2016 at 7:40 am

      Oh great! Happy Holidays Emilia! x

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