Kale and Strawberry Summer Salad

Kale and Strawberry Summer Salad

One of the classic combinations that we love to make for lunch is soup and salad. Our favorite soup is our Vegetarian “Chicken” and Dumpling Soup, and we love to pair that with a big helping of our Kale and Strawberry Summer Salad. It’s a refreshing salad that’s got a super simple dressing and is so easy to throw together. We’ve been making this salad for years, always with great results. 

kale and strawberry summer salad

We’ve got some beautiful colors here, with strawberries and carrots on top of the red leaf lettuce and kale. You could also do a lot with other salad toppings here, too. We’ve put blueberries in this salad, but there’s a lot of other fruits that make sense. Raspberries or halved red grapes would be delicious! 

The most important thing is to make sure there’s some kind of fruit in the salad. It’s not as crazy of an idea now as when we first started making this salad, but a lot of people don’t often put fruit on a salad. With a sweeter dressing like this white balsamic vinaigrette, fruit is such a game changer. You’ll thank us once you make it. 

What’s This White Balsamic Stuff?

kale and strawberry summer salad

It’s exactly what it sounds like. If you think of the difference between red and white wine, regular balsamic vs white balsamic makes a lot of sense. They’re made with white grapes, and it’s a little bit less sweet than its red-grape counterpart. It’s so delicious that the vinaigrette we have here is so simple, which allows it to be the star of the show. 

Let’s talk about kale:

Kale is one of the things that people who eat vegan decide to idealize. We all know that kale is healthy for you, but we don’t really know why, and we don’t really know how to best eat it. The kale salads that you get from your usual salad places are so good, but when you try to make something similar at home, it’s gritty, crunchy, bitter, and just generally not good. But, we’re here to change the way you eat kale. There are two major ways to make kale better:

First, you chop the kale super small. We’re talking dime-sized pieces. The chopping mWhen the pieces are small, it allows whatever dressing you’re using to cover more surface area of the kale. This is especially good when you have a really acidic salad dressing like a vinaigrette or a citrus juice-based salad dressing. The acid helps to break down the tough kale and make it a little more palatable. 

Second, you massage the kale. 

Yes, that’s right. You massage the kale. 

I know it sounds weird, but hear me out.

Massaging the kale does the same thing that the acid in the salad dressing does. It breaks down the hard cellulose in the kale that makes it hard to eat. I usually combine both of these methods because I want to make sure my kale is as easy to eat as possible. 

kale and strawberry summer salad

Tips and Tricks:

Make sure to chop all of your ingredients small. This will allow you to get all of your ingredients in one bite, and help prevent the awkward moment when you get the long strings of lettuce that make you feel like you’re eating noodles. 

Make sure to wash all of your ingredients thoroughly. Produce has a tendency to be pretty dirty, whether with actual literal dirt or with chemicals. I’d recommend a salad spinner if you have the space and budget for one, but you could also just use a colander like you’d use for pasta. 

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Kale and Strawberry Summer Salad

Prep Time15 mins

Ingredients

Salad:

  • 4 medium strawberries quartered
  • 1 medium carrot peeled into ribbons
  • 1 cup kale massaged and chopped
  • ½ cup red leaf lettuce chopped
  • ¼ cup nuts of your choice

White Balsamic Vinaigrette:

  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup white balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup honey
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Instructions

Make the White Balsamic Vinaigrette:

  • Combine all ingredients into a small jar or container with a lid and shake until well combined.

Make the Salad:

  • Wash all ingredients thoroughly. Peel the carrot if desired. Chop the green ends off of the strawberries. Remove the kale greens from the ribs.
  • Massage the kale until soft. Chop the kale and red leaf lettuce into small pieces, quarter the strawberries, and peel the carrot into ribbons as pictured above.
  • Place all ingredients into a bowl and toss with your preferred amount of dressing.

Notes

  1. For the nuts: we used cashew pieces, but we’ve also used almonds and walnuts in this salad, as well. 
  2. You don’t have to peel the skin off of the carrots, but you can if you’d like to. Also, avoid the bitter core of the carrot. It’s not very pleasant to eat. 
  3. You can skip massaging the kale if desired, but we’d highly recommend it.