I like kale and all the other dark greens. My stepdaughter thinks I buy the stuff to torture her. She frequently accuses me of hiding kale in everything from spaghetti sauce to cupcakes. I am guilty sometimes! Now that she is off to college kale, chard and spinach are no longer hiding, they are front and center. This simple kale salad is really great with my tangy poppy seed buttermilk dressing. It makes a lovely side salad for any meal or topped with sliced chicken or pork a great meal on its own. The poppy seed buttermilk dressing is so good I could drink it, and is perfect for almost any kind of salad.

One of the secrets to fresh kale salad is don’t be kind to the kale. It’s a pretty tough and needs some abuse. Lemon, juice and salt along with aggressive tossing will help break the kale down just a little. Slicing it into thin ribbons will also help. I have used sunflower seeds in this salad in part because of the small size and great salty smoky taste but you could substitute any nut you like better. The left over undressed salad will save in the fridge for a few days so don’t worry if this seems like a ton of salad to eat.

Fruit and Kale Salad with Poppy Seed Buttermilk Dressing


Fruit and Kale Salad with Poppy Seed Buttermilk Dressing

Course Salad, vegetarian
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 4


Poppy Seed Buttermilk Dressing

  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbs Agave
  • 1 tbs Dijon mustard
  • 2 tbs sour cream
  • Zest of half a lemon
  • 1 tbs poppy seed
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • 1 bunch kale sliced in thin ribbons
  • 1-2 medium apples diced
  • 1-2 clementine oranges sectioned and cut in small pieces
  • 4-6 radishes cut in small matchsticks
  • 1/4 cup salted dry roasted sunflower seeds more if you like them
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Fruit and Kale Salad with Poopy Seed Buttermilk Dressing
  2. Wish together all the ingredients for the dressing, taste and adjust flavors as needed. Make the dressing and store in the refrigerator for as long as a few days.
  3. Remove the stems from the kale saving only the tender leaves, dry well. Slice the kale into thin ribbons. Add all the rest of the salad ingredients and toss with juice of half a lemon, salt and pepper. Kale is hearty and you want the salt and lemon to help break down the leaves so toss aggressively, I like to use my hands so I don’t damage the fruit but get a good mix on the rest. Salad can rest like this for as long as an hour or more, just be sure you added enough lemon juice to keep the apples from browning.
  4. When ready to serve toss with the poppy seed buttermilk dressing. I like to serve this salad pre-dressed almost like a cole slaw.
    Fruit and Kale Salad with Poppy Seed Buttermilk Dressing

Recipe Notes

If you find kale to strong or tough try either baby kale or swiss chard, both are more delicate.

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