Autumn Salad with Maple-Cider Vinaigrette

A little bit sweet, a little bit savory. This hearty fall salad will be a hit.

Autumn Salad with Maple-Cider Vinaigrette
Photo: Victor Protasio; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall; Prop Styling: Christine Keely
Active Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
50 mins

Keep it fresh this fall with a bright, vibrant salad made for the season. Our Autumn Salad with Maple-Cider Vinaigrette is a stunning homage to the season's bounty—and it's a great way to get your greens in.

Built on a base of chopped Lacinato kale, this salad is certainly substantial. Massaging the kale tenderizes it just enough, ensuring that the kale still maintains its bite. This autumn salad recipe plays with both sweet and savory elements, mixing in chopped Honeycrisp apple alongside shaved Manchego cheese. (Pro tip: A vegetable peeler is perfect for shaving hard cheeses.) Even the homemade dressing stays true to the sweet-and-savory theme, gaining a slight sweetness from maple syrup, complemented by sharp Dijon mustard and autumnal apple cider vinegar. Simple, but well-rounded, this salad is our love letter to autumn.

Consider this salad a blank canvas. Roasted butternut squash, diced pears, and a sharp, hard cheese (such as Parmesan) would feel right at home here too. This salad also would make for a great appetizer at any fall dinner party.


  • 3 cups chopped peeled sweet potatoes (from 2 medium-size sweet potatoes)

  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper

  • ½ cup olive oil, divided

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided

  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

  • 1 ½ tablespoons pure maple syrup

  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot (from 1 shallot)

  • 6 cups chopped stemmed Lacinato kale (from 2 bunches)

  • 1 medium Honeycrisp apple, unpeeled and thinly sliced

  • 4 ounces Manchego cheese, shaved (about 2 cups)


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Toss together sweet potatoes, pepper, 2 tablespoons of the oil, and ½ teaspoon of the salt on a rimmed baking sheet until coated. Spread in an even layer. Roast until sweet potatoes are lightly browned and tender, about 25 minutes, stirring once halfway through cook time. Cool on baking sheet until just warm, about 10 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, whisk together vinegar, maple syrup, Dijon mustard, shallot, and remaining ½ teaspoon salt in a small bowl. Gradually whisk in remaining 6 tablespoons oil until combined.

  3. Toss together kale and half of the vinaigrette (about 5 tablespoons) in a large bowl. Massage using your hands until kale is well coated and slightly tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer mixture to a large serving platter, and top evenly with sweet potatoes, apple slices, and cheese. Drizzle with remaining vinaigrette.

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