Spring is strawberry season so strawberries are ripe, sweet, and generally on sale during this time.
I used to make a salad with spinach, strawberries, red onion, and raspberry vinaigrette (it was a popular salad 10 years ago) and was thinking how good it would be to update that salad with the nutritional boost of kale.
Lacinto kale is the best tasting for salads. It breaks down and softens better than the curly kale, and has a milder flavor. If you’re one of those people that love the taste of “greens” you can substitute curly kale, but for those of you wanting to eat kale because it’s healthy but are not in love with the taste, use lacinto.
The dressing is only a few ingredients; vinegar, oil, and salt. I use fruit flavored vinegar since the sweetness helps to counteract the bitter of the kale, but balsamic vinegar will also work. I also use a combination of grapeseed (for its neutral flavor) and olive oil (for its nutrition) but use what you have available.
The dressing is massaged into the kale leaves, softening them so the texture is more like spring mix baby greens, but is also sturdy enough to be stored in the refrigerator for several hours, making this a great salad to make ahead of time or take to work for lunch.
Add fresh strawberries, blackberries, pecans, and goat cheese (optional). Salads turn out the best when all of the ingredients are really fresh so feel free to substitute other berries if strawberries and/or blackberries are not great quality.
This salad is tastier than it is healthy, and it is very healthy. If you are not a huge fan of kale, try this salad, you will more than likely be pleasantly surprised.
Strawberry Kale Salad
1 tablespoon fig vinegar (or other fruit flavored vinegar, balsamic works too)
1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
1 tablespoon olive oil
pinch of salt
1 bunch lacinto kale, stemmed, washed, and cut into 1″ ribbons
1 cup cleaned and sliced fresh strawberries
1/2 cup ripe blackberries
1/3 cup organic chopped pecans
1/3 cup Bucherondin, or other creamy/crumbly goat cheese
Find a large glass bowl. Add vinegar, oils, and salt and set aside. Prepare the kale then add to the vinaigrette, tossing with your hands and massaging the dressing into the kale until all the leaves are coated. Allow it to sit and marinate while preparing the rest of the ingredients. Can be tightly covered and refrigerated for a few hours at this point.
Before serving, add strawberries, blackberries, pecans, and cheese, stirring to combine. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.