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Poached quince stars in this kale and herb salad with a punchy dressing

(Rey Lopez for The Washington Post/Food styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post)
Kale and Herb Salad With Poached Quince
Total time:45 mins
Servings:6 to 8
Total time:45 mins
Servings:6 to 8

Iceberg lettuce and lacinato kale deliver varied texture, while fresh mint and cilantro bring bright flavor to this salad. Shaving fennel, carrot and red onion on a mandoline adds texture and color. If you don’t have a mandoline, use a vegetable peeler.

Quince evokes mystery and magic as heat turns the fruit from woody to luscious

Tossed with a punchy ginger-yogurt dressing and garnished with ruby-red poached quince and toasted walnuts, this is a complex salad that goes well with simple roasted or grilled meats.

Storage Notes: The dressing can be refrigerated for up to a week. The leafy-herb base can be tossed together, covered and refrigerated for 2 or 3 days.

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For the dressing

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons full-fat plain yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced or finely grated
  • 1 clove garlic, minced or finely grated
  • Fine sea or table salt
  • Freshly cracked black pepper

For the salad

  • 1/2 large head iceberg lettuce (about 8 ounces), torn into bite-size pieces
  • 1 small bunch lacinato kale (6 ounces), stemmed and cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1/2 bunch (about 1/4 cup, packed) fresh mint leaves
  • 1/4 bunch (about 1/4 cup packed) fresh cilantro leaves, leaves only
  • 1 large carrot (about 4 ounces), shaved into strips
  • 1/2 bulb fennel (about 4 ounces), shaved
  • 1/2 medium red onion, shaved or very thinly sliced
  • Fine sea or table salt
  • Freshly cracked black pepper
  • 8 poached quince wedges, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1/2 cup (about 2 ounces) coarsely chopped lightly toasted walnuts

Step 1

Make the dressing: In a medium bowl, whisk together the olive oil, yogurt, vinegar, honey, ginger and garlic until combined, then season to taste with salt and pepper.

Step 2

Make the salad: In a large bowl, toss together the lettuce, kale, mint and cilantro. Before serving, add the carrot, fennel and red onion. Add two-thirds of the dressing and season with salt and pepper; gently toss to coat the ingredients with the dressing. Taste and add more salt, pepper or dressing, if needed.

Step 3

Top the salad with poached quince and walnuts and serve.

Nutrition Information

Per serving (generous 3/4 cup salad with generous tablespoon dressing), based on 8

Calories: 186; Total Fat: 6 g; Saturated Fat: 1 g; Cholesterol: 1 mg; Sodium: 111 mg; Carbohydrates: 34 ; Dietary Fiber: g; Sugar: g; Protein: g

This analysis is an estimate based on available ingredients and this preparation. It should not substitute for a dietitian’s or nutritionist’s advice.

From food writer Deborah Reid.

Tested by Ann Maloney; email questions to

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