This easy Kale and Fennel Salad with Almond and Cranberry is full of flavors and textures. The dish also looks beautiful with vibrant colors.
This salad is one of my most favorite ways to enjoy kale. You can put it together effortlessly for either daily meals or special occasions. I especially love making it during the holiday season.
You need just a few ingredients to make this kale salad with white wine vinaigrette, and all elements in the dish complement each other so well.
🥬 Veggie choices: you will need kale which will provide volume as well as a slightly rough texture. The fennel will add crunchiness and a mild and refreshing taste. I also like to throw in some blanched green beans for some juiciness and crispness.
🌿 Other add-ins: two important add-ins that boost the flavors of this kale salad are toasted almonds and dried cranberries. These two ingredients go so well with kale!
I use whole almonds and lightly crush them after toasting, but slivered almonds will also work well. Almonds will bring nuttiness and crunchiness while the mild sweet and sour taste of dried cranberries will counterbalance the strong taste of kale.
I recommend adding some torn mint leaves. However, if you don’t have it on hand, you can try other refreshing herbs such as parsley.
If you have parmesan or pecorino romano in the fridge, add it for a rich and tangy flavor. If you want to stay dairy-free or vegan, feel free to leave it out since the salad will still be delicious.
🥗 Dressing: A tangy dressing works best for this kale and fennel salad. It not only tames down the roughness of kale but also brightens up the salad.
I use white wine vinegar, dijon mustard and extra virgin olive oil. You can also try other kinds of vinegar, such as champagne vinegar or apple cider vinegar.
How to Make Kale and Fennel Salad
1️⃣ First, remove the tough kale stems and roughly chop the leaves into smaller pieces. Then massage the leaves with a bit of olive oil and salt to soften the texture.
2️⃣ Next slice the fennel thinly and blanch the green beans. Don’t overcook the green beans since we want them to be crisp. Place the kale leaves in your serving bowl or plate, then scatter or mix in the fennel and green beans.
3️⃣ The last step is to drizzle the dressing and sprinkle the toasted almonds, dried cranberries and cheese (if using). In case you want to prep ahead, delay this last step until you want to serve the salad.
If you are looking for kale salad ideas, especially for fall or winter, I hope you will give this recipe a try. Detailed measurements and instructions are in the recipe card as usual.
More Vegetable Recipes
I’d love to hear what you think about the dish, so please feel free to leave a comment and a rating if you have tried it. New recipes are added every week so let’s connect on Facebook, Youtube, Pinterest and Instagram for the latest updates. You can find my collection of Vietnamese recipes here.
Kale and Fennel Salad with Almond and Cranberry
For the Kale Salad
- 5-6 large kale leaves
- 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 medium fennel bulb
- 3 oz green beans
- 2 tablespoons torn mint leaves
- 1/4-1/3 cup lightly crushed toasted whole almonds (or toasted slivered almonds)
- 3-4 tablespoons dried cranberries
- grated or sliced parmesan or pecorino romano (optional)
For the Dressing
- 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 1/2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 3/4 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3/4 teaspoon salt (to taste)
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper (to taste)
- Wash kale leaves and pat dry, then remove the tough stems. Roughly chop kale into smaller pieces. You will have about 5-6 cups (about 80g) of chopped kale.
- Place the kale in a large bowl and massage with 2 teaspoons olive oil and ¼ teaspoon salt for about a minute to soften it up. Set aside while you prepare other ingredients.
- Trim off fennel stems, then quarter the bulb. Discard wilted outer layers and remove the tough core if needed. Cut each quarter into thin lengthwise slices.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil and blanch the green beans for 1-2 minutes until crisp tender. Transfer them to a bowl of iced water to stop the cooking process. Then pat dry and cut into 2 – 2½ inch long pieces.
- In a small bowl, whisk together all ingredients for the dressing until well blended. You can also add all ingredients for the dressing to a small bottle, then close it tightly and shake well.
- Add fennel slices and green beans to the large bowl with the kale. Drizzle the dressing over the salad and toss to coat. Sprinkle the salad with torn mint leaves, almonds, dried cranberries and cheese. Serve right away.