Kale and apple salad with toasted nuts

Kale and apple salad with toasted nuts.

Gretchen McKay, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Ever have one of those days where you’re just too tired to make dinner? Me, too. But that doesn’t mean you don’t have an appetite. Takeout is a tempting solution, but I’m a firm believer that so many things taste better when made in your own kitchen.

I ended up with a lot of kale this year in my tiny backyard garden, so this simple salad has quickly become a favorite. Super crunchy, with just enough cheese tossed in to make it attractive to kids, it could be your go-to dish, too. It comes together in minutes and only requires a sharp knife. It can be served as a main course with a good crusty bread or as a side with those pulled pork sandwiches you’re perfecting for the football season.

I added toasted sliced almonds, but it would work just as well with toasted pecans. Pick your favorite apple — I prefer a tart Granny Smith because I think it pairs well with cheddar. A salty Parmesan makes a nice addition, too.

KALE AND APPLE SALAD WITH TOASTED NUTS

PG tested

¼ cup sliced almonds

4 cups very finely chopped curly kale

1 sweet or tart apple, cored and cut into chunks

½ cup shredded cheddar or Parmesan, finely chopped

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

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Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Toast almonds in a saute pan over medium heat until fragrant and lightly browned.

Toss the kale, almonds, apple chunks and cheese in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper and toss again.

Whisk together the lemon juice, garlic and olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and add more lemon juice or oil as you prefer. Add to the salad and toss well to combine flavors.

Serves 2 as a main dish and 4 as a side.

— Gretchen McKay, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

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