pink lady apple and kale salad recipe

a pink lady flashback with some bad English lip-syncing and a language barrier ::::

It was Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) box of fruit that I succumbed to this week. We were happily innudated with blood oranges, Navels, squat mandarins, a perfect avocado, and some Pink Lady apples. Peach and Grub have eaten most of the oranges already, fingers remaining sticky most of the day, and I have consumed most of the apples, usually over my desk-spent lunch hour. I love the tart crispiness without any combating flavors from a recipe — it was hard to tear one apple away — but I couldn’t pass up a crispy, tart Pink Lady apple in this salad recipe, replacing the Honeycrisp recommended. And the kale has made an appearance in my kitchen again, after the first trimester yuckies have finally almost fully passed (still a little iffy on the meat these days), so it was undoubtedly a sign that I needed to combine these two into a long-awaited matrimony.

When I first experienced the Pink Lady apple, I couldn’t help but remember the ill-fated American variety show in the 1980s with the same name. I remember seeing an episode, oddly transfixed, perhaps at the ridiculousness of it. It consisted of two Japanese women (Mie and Kei) who formed Pink Lady  and the comedian Jeff Altman. I remember the women singing popular songs and doing some comedy acts in which they always seemed utterly confused about anything that was said to them. Thanks to the magic of the Internet, a search on Wikipedia tells me that the women were understandable confused; they really were not fluent in English. That comedic confusion wasn’t all acting. The show was cancelled after five episodes. That I even remember something so fleeting, and that I even watched it at all, makes me wonder what important information in my life I have forgotten in order to keep this little useless tidbit in my brain.

Thankfully, it doesn’t monopolize my thoughts. And I’ve experienced much more profound things in life than a poorly produced variety show. There is a even little bit of Japan in the recipe today, and it’s much more memorable than Mie and Kei. The addition of the Japanese ground red pepper ichimi togarashi  gives a nice pow to the salad. The dense, hearty leaves of kale stand up nicely to other strong flavors such as hot pepper and is a great contrast with the tart apple. Taking each bite of the salad with kale, apple, nut, and Parmesan helps one fully appreciate the flavor profile. While kale tends to be heavy in salads that it provides the masonry for, the Pink Lady really is the all-around star here, much more than the television show ladies gained merit for in the United States.

One year ago:  roasted pumpkin seeds

Two years ago:  flourless chocolate torte with walnuts

pink lady apples and kale salad recipe
Recipe type: salad
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2-4
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • zest and juice of one medium lemon
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 2 cups thinly sliced kale
  • ¼ cup finely shredded parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup chopped hazelnuts
  • 1 Pink Lady apple
  • about ¼ teaspoon salt and pepper, each
  • ichimi togarashi (Japanese ground red pepper)
  1. Whist olive oil, lemon zest, juice, and honey in a medium bowl. Add the kale, parmesan cheese, and hazelnuts. Toss to coat.
  2. Cut sides off of apple in 4 chunks, leaving the core. Using a mandoline or knife, slice apple thinly.
  3. Add apple slices to salad and toss to coat. Sprinkle with ichimi togarashi.


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