Honeycrisp Quinoa Salad with Kale and Pistachios.
Nothing beats this honeycrisp quinoa salad on a Monday.
And it’s no secret that I love a good september salad!
Because kale, honeycrisps, and anything else I can grab to celebrate the seasons – the end of summer and start of fall – are perfect together in one big bowl.
Years ago I made this harvest honey crisp salad. The cinnamon shallot vinaigrette is the star of the show in this one! And, the double nuts.
Then, I made a september kale salad, with figs and apples and pancetta and goat cheese. All sounds incredible right? That’s topped off with a maple cider vinaigrette and it deeeelish.
See? I’m just a little into september salads…
For today’s salad, I’m keeping the kale and honeycrisps, but adding in some quinoa for satiety, some feta cubes, pistachios for savory, buttery crunch and dried tart cherries.
Oh my word. This is heaven. It has EVERYTHING.
And then! It’s all drizzled with an apple cider vinaigrette. If you love a salty+sweet combo, you will adore this. It’s amazing.
Give me all the apple cider things!
The base is tuscan kale, which is my absolute favorite for salads. You can use curly green too, of course. When the kale is massaged (yes, it’s massaged!) with the dressing, it becomes tender and chewy, in a really good way.
Then we have the crunch from the nuts. The big juicy chunks of apple. The feta cubes which are tangy and cheesy and lovely. Then sweet chewiness from the cherries.
A salad like this is the perfect way to transition from summer to fall. It’s refreshing enough to hit the spot on warm late summer nights, but adds enough flavor to get you excited for autumn produce.
Let it be dinner tonight!
Honeycrisp Quinoa Salad with Kale and Pistachios
Honeycrisp Quinoa Salad with Kale and Pistachios
- ½ cup cooked quinoa
- 1 large bunch lacinato kale, leaves removed from stems (you want 4 to 6 cups)
- 2 honey crisp apples cubed
- 6 ounces feta cheese cubed
- ⅓ cup dried tart cherries
- ¼ cup chopped roasted pistachios
apple cider vinaigrette
- ⅓ cup apple cider
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 garlic clove, finely minced or pressed
- pinch of salt and pepper
- pinch of freshly ground nutmeg
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- This is a great dish to use up leftover quinoa, but if you don’t have it made, start with that! Make a batch of quinoa first and while it cooks (it will take about 15 minutes), chop your other ingredients.
- Chop the kale and place it in a bowl. Drizzle it with about 2 tablespoons of the apple cider vinaigrette and massage the kale with your hands for 1 to 2 minutes. Let it sit for at least 5 minutes.
- If you are using just-cooked quinoa (so it's warm), you can put it over the kale to wilt it a bit. If it's cold or room temp, that is fine too. Once the kale has rested, add in the quinoa, apples, feta, pistachios and cherries. Toss well and drizzle on more of the dressing. Serve!
- This salad stays surprisingly well overnight - the apples may slightly brown a bit, but if you seal it in a container, the leftovers are great.
apple cider vinaigrette
- Whisk together the apple cider, lemon juice, garlic, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Whisk constantly while streaming in the olive oil. This dressing stays great sealed in the fridge for a few days.
Did you make this recipe?
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Bite of perfection, right there!
25 Comments on “Honeycrisp Quinoa Salad with Kale and Pistachios.”
This salad reminds me of a beautiful maple tree with it’s changing colors – in a bowl! We have mostly oak trees on our property but we do have one Autumn Blaze maple in our front yard that changes from yellow all the way to purple leaves – so pretty.
It looks beautiful but you lost me at feta cheese and apple cider vinegar!
there is no apple cider vinegar in this… it’s regular apple cider.
I bet you’re super fun at parties, Yvonne 🙄 I’m sure you could sub any crumbly cheese like blue or goat, if you don’t like feta. Easy peasy. You don’t need to yuck someone’s yum. Also, it’s apple cider, not vinegar. Read a little more closely next time 😉
THANK YOU, Lindsay. My thoughts exactly.
Making this tonight! Just wanted to say that I did check the comments to see if anyone had weighed in on apple cider vs apple cider vinegar. Since it’s called a vinegarette I was expecting there to be vinegar in it and thought maybe it was a typo. Calling it a dressing might make it a little more clear, but that’s just my two cents! Can’t wait to eat it.
wonderful salad, love all of this even the kale, but cherries and pistachios are a really nice touch, thank you!
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Trying this tonight, can’t wait!
don’t really like vegetables but this food looks delicious, maybe I will love it when eating this food. Thanks for sharing the recipe
I served this at my friends dinner party and it was the biggest hit of the night! All of the ingredients paired perfectly together. Such a yummy salad to kick off Fall. Thank you Jessica!!
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We loved this salad, from my husband down to my 4 year old! It definitely needed more acid and salt in the dressing than it called for, for our taste.
Really enjoyed this salad tonight–we used the apples that we picked from a nearby orchard this week!
This was absolutely delicious. I hate kale, but I try my best to eat more vegetables and I knew all the flavors and other textures would make it tolerable in this recipe. So SO good! Will definitely be making it again.
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This was great! I cut it in half, and it was my lunch. I skipped the cheese and I used a baby spinach mix in place of the kale. Had to work with what I had! I loved the dressing and have lots left to use on other salads. Thank you for such a good recipe. I plan to make versions of it over and over again.
This salad was amazing. Since I didn’t have kale, I substituted with baby spinach and arugula (my favorites). Thank you.
Delicious! I love quinoa in salad, but had never made it–just ordered in a restaurant. Love this easy recipe.
It is always amusing when people comment on how beautiful your photos are, but have not made or tasted the dish. And those who don’t remotely follow your cultured ingredients only to critique the recipe that you have tested and re-tested! We love the thoughtfulness of all your creations, respect the combinations, and generally try out what you have written. And thank you for your new book!
This turned out great. Used farro because I was unexpectedly out of quinoa and it still turned out great.
I don’t make a lot of salads like this because I’m the only one in my family who will eat it. However, this is definitely going on the menu next week! These type of salads are my jam!
This is 100000% my new favorite fall salad. I added some cubed roasted sweet potato because I had it on hand, and OMG. Unreal.