Credit: Jonathan Bardzik

You get the dreaded invite. “Brunch. My place. Bring something to share – and a bottle of bubbly.” Ugh. What do you do? If you bring anything people actually want to eat you’ll get carb shamed. And lets not even talk about the shade that was thrown when your one unsuspecting friend brought something pre-made to the last brunch, even if it was from Dean and DeLuca.

So you bring something homemade and healthy – a composed brunch salad – and set it down with the other light and healthy dishes. Sure, they’re beautiful to look at and it’s guaranteed your friends will be madly Instagramming and pinning the recipes. There’s only one problem. No one wants to be the first to eat, so nobody grabs a plate until they’ve polished off their third mimosa and are starting to slur. By that time those beautiful salads are hopelessly wilted.

This is not that salad. This salad will be the envy of your brunch set. The colors are fall perfect – take that pumpkin spice anything! – and the kale in this salad just gets better as it sits in the dressing while the cider vinegar keeps the apples from browning. With the tang of bleu cheese and the nutty crunch of toasted pepitas, you just won brunch.

Credit: Jonathan Bardzik

Roasted Chicken Apple and Kale Salad

Serves 6-8

This recipe is from Jonathan’s new book Fresh and Magical Vinaigrettes available on or signed from

For vinaigrette:

1 clove garlic

1/3 cup cider vinegar

1 tbs honey

1 Dijon mustard

1/2 cup crumbled bleu cheese

2/3 cup olive oil – the good stuff!

For salad:

4 bone-in, skin-on chicken breast halves

2 tbs minced ginger

2 tbs olive oil

1 sweet apple like a Honeycrisp or Empire cut in 1/2” dice

1/2 lb kale, Lacinato if you can find it, de-ribbed and cut in thin ribbons

1/4 cup toasted pepitas (hulled pumpkin seeds)


  • Pre-heat oven to 400.
  • Spread minced ginger under the skin of the chicken breasts and season with salt and pepper.
  • Warm 2 tbs oil in a 12” skillet over med-high. Place chicken in pan, skin side down, and brown. Turn and cook 5 min longer.
  • Transfer skillet to oven. Cook to 165, about 25 minutes. Remove chicken from oven and cool.
  • Remove and discard bones and skin. Cut chicken in a 1/2” dice and toss in a bowl with apple and kale.
  • While chicken roasts, begin vinaigrette: Place garlic on cutting board, sprinkle with coarse salt, and mash into a paste using the flat edge of your chef’s knife. Add the garlic paste to a bowl with vinegar, honey and mustard. Season with salt and pepper and whisk together. Set aside for flavors to develop.
  • When salad is ready to dress, whisk in cheese until mostly smooth. While whisking, drizzle in 2/3 cup oil to form a creamy emulsion.
  • Dress salad and let sit for 10-15 minutes to wilt kale. Serve topped with toasted pepitas.

For more recipes, please check out my official website.