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Strawberry Kale Salad

Make some strawberry kale salad.

I just got back from doing a cooking demonstration at the Asheville City Market and had a great time talking with the local farmers and the visitors there! One great way that to fix kale salad is to add the fruit that it is in season. Right now, it is strawberries and this time of year.

I can’t get enough of the fresh, local berries. In fact, they might be my very favorite fruit, but it is hard to say, ask me when the blueberries come in season. I always buy more than what I can eat each week and freeze the rest to eat throughout the year.  So today at the market, I made a strawberry kale salad. Here is how I did it but you can get creative and find other ways to make is delicious!

Recipe for Strawberry Kale Salad

strawberry kale
Spring doesn’t get any better than this salad!

Strawberry Kale Salad

4 c local chopped kale
1 c stemmed, sliced local strawberries
2 TB locally made balsamic vinegar
1/3-½ c olive oil
1/3 c locally grown nuts
¼ c local feta cheese
¼ tsp salt or season blend
Pepper to taste if desired

In a large bowl, add kale and strawberries. In a small bowl add balsamic vinegar, olive oil and seasonings. Mix in lightly with kale and strawberries. Top with feta and nuts.
Makes 4-5 servings.

Denise at the farmers' market
Getting ready to sample some strawberry and kale salad.

Massaging the Kale for Salad

One really cool thing that I had the chance to share with some of the visitors who came to sample the salad was the fact that I had massaged the kale! Many people find kale a little coarse, big and fibrous to eat raw. In fact, many salad bars have big pieces of kale that I don’t even find delicious to eat myself. However, I have found that after I cut it up into small pieces, I run the kale through my hands a couple of minutes, and it becomes soft and easy to chew. I have even heard that massaging it makes it easier to digest and may release some food enzymes that are beneficial to health, but I will have to do a little research on that.

Love all the beautiful vegetables from Paper Crane Farms
I asked which variety of kale to use for my salad and this farmer from Paper Crane Farms suggested the Tuscan variety.
Get your Bare Necessities at this Farm
So happy to meet new friends at the Bare Necessities Farm!

Variations for Kale Fruit Salad

So, what do we do when strawberry season ends? I have great news for you! Try blueberries and blackberries in the summer! Here is a blackberry, cabbage, carrot and kale recipe 

Kale and Blackberry Salad
Blackberries, cabbage and shredded carrots make a “sweet” addition to the kale salad!

Then there is Tempeh Blueberry Kale Salad

blueberry hempeh salad
Have you tried blueberries or local hempeh in a salad? You might want to give it a try!

Here is a recipe for Raspberry Kale Salad.

Make Some Strawberry Kale Salad

Visiting the farmers’ market is a great time to meet who grows your food and how they grow it. I had a chance to meet some of the farmers that I have had a chance to know for some time. Some of them are even in my book Farm Fresh Nutrition. But in addition, I had a chance to get to know farmers that I have not met before. I am so fortunate to live in Western North Carolina where we have a lot of great farmers’ who bring food to the markets, restaurants and other places here where we can purchase it!

It is great to have a simple base and change it up based on the seasons. I hope some of my favorite spring and summer ways to make kale will inspire you to create a new collection of healthy meal planning recipes. As a registered dietitian nutritionist in Asheville, I love to help my clients find delicious recipes using fresh seasonal ingredients! You can find out a little more about me here.

Soon summer will be over and we will be heading for fall and it will be time to add apples and pears to your kale salad. Winter squash also pairs well with kale. Here are some additional winter squash recipes!

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