The Ultimate Fall Salad
The Ultimate Fall Salad- made with a combination of fall’s best produce, this colorful salad is bursting with delicious texture and flavor. Perfect for your holiday table or to prep for healthy lunches!
If you’re looking for a colorful salad to add to your holiday table then look no further. This gorgeous salad features an incredible combination of textures and flavors that everyone will love.
I call it the Ultimate Fall Salad because it includes everything I love about autumn: crisp apples, tart pomegranate seeds, and maple pecans on a bed of shredded kale, brussels sprouts and cabbage. All of that gets served in a lemon maple dijon dressing and topped with shredded parmesan for a flavor explosion in your mouth.
The Ultimate Fall Salad Ingredients
- Lacinato Kale- dinosaur kale is my absolute favorite because it’s less bitter than curly kale and has a smoother texture that’s more palatable for salads. I highly recommend sticking with this variety!
- Brussels Sprouts- thinly slicing the brussels gives them a shredded texture that’s perfect for salads. They add a delightful crunchy texture.
- Red Cabbage- cabbage adds even more crunch but the main reason I like to include it here is for a pop of color. If you’re not a fan of cabbage, feel free to substitute extra shredded kale and brussels.
- Pomegranate Arils- biting into juicy pomegranate arils really takes the salad over the top. I love the subtle tart flavor they add.
- Apples- I like to use honeycrisp apples but feel free to use your favorite variety! If you’re unsure of how to cut them into matchsticks, here’s a helpful how-to video.
- Pecans- chopped pecans roasted with maple syrup, olive oil and sea salt add wonderful depth and texture.
- Pure Maple Syrup- you’ll be using maple syrup for both the pecans and the dressing for a subtle sweetness that balances out the bitter flavor of the greens. Make sure it’s pure maple syrup for best results!
- Lemon Juice, Dijon Mustard, Olive Oil and Apple Cider Vinegar- these are the major players for the dressing, in addition to a bit of maple syrup. Tart, slightly sweet and so delicious!
- Shredded Parmesan- Violife makes a fantastic (dairy-free) block parmesan that finishes the whole thing off perfectly!
Prep Ahead Tips
While I don’t recommend assembling the entire salad in advance (the cabbage will bleed and turn the entire thing purple!), you can do the majority of the work a few days ahead of time to make it come together in a jiffy the day of.
- Thinly slice the kale, brussels and cabbage then store in a sealed airtight container. Since we’ll be massaging the kale on its own, I recommend storing it in its own container.
- Prepare and toast the maple pecans as directed then allow to cool and store in an airtight container.
- Whisk together the dressing and store in an airtight container. Be sure to set aside the suggested amount of lemon juice and vinegar for the apples.
- Remove the pomegranate arils and store in an airtight container.
Then the day of all you have to do is slice the apples, assemble everything, and serve!
The Ultimate Fall Salad
For the Maple Pecans
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- ½ tablespoon pure maple syrup
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
For the Salad
- 1 bunch lacinato kale, destemmed and thinly sliced
- ½ small red cabbage, thinly sliced
- 10 ounces brussels sprouts , thinly sliced
- 2 honeycrisp apples, cored and thinly sliced into matchsticks
- ½ cup pomegranate arils, about 1 small pomegranate
- ½ cup shaved vegan parmesan, I like Violife
For the Dressing
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup lemon juice, about 2 small lemons
- 4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
- Preheat the oven to 400°F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- In a small bowl, combine 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1/2 tablespoon maple syrup and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Add the chopped pecans to the bowl and stir until evenly coated. Spread pecans onto the cookie sheet and then bake in the oven for about 7-10 minutes. If your oven is on the hotter side, you might want to check them around 6-7 minutes to assure that they don’t burn. Set aside to cool.
- In a large bowl, combine the ingredients for the dressing while setting aside 2 tablespoons of the lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of the vinegar in a separate small bowl. To the large bowl, add the kale and gently massage for about 15 seconds. Add the shredded brussels and red cabbage then toss until evenly coated.
- To the small bowl with the lemon juice and vinegar, add the sliced apples and stir until evenly coated. This step will help to keep the apples from oxidizing (or turning brown).
- Add the apples, pomegranate arils and pecans to the large bowl with the shredded kale, brussels and cabbage. Stir everything together and serve immediately or cover and refrigerate for up to 4 hours.