Strawberry Kale Salad with Nutty Granola Croutons
- Prep Time: 25 mins
- Cook Time: 20 mins
- Total Time: 45 minutes
- Yield: 2 to 4 salads
- Category: Salad
Raw kale, chopped strawberries and radishes, and crumbled goat cheese tossed in a tangy lemon dressing. Top that with savory, nutty granola “crouton” clusters for a hearty and healthy meal in a bowl. The recipe below yields enough salad for two full-sized portions or four side salads, and plenty of leftover granola croutons for future salads.
- 8 ounces Tuscan kale or regular curly kale (one medium bunch)
- 1/2 pound strawberries, hulled and sliced
- 4 to 5 medium radishes, sliced thin and roughly chopped
- 2 ounces chilled goat cheese (or about 1/3 cup cup goat cheese crumbles)
Lemon honey mustard dressing
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice (about 1 small lemon)
- 1 tablespoon smooth Dijon mustard
- 1 1/2 teaspoons honey
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Nutty granola “croutons”
- 1 cup old-fashioned oats
- 1/2 cup raw shelled pistachios (or walnuts or pecans)
- 1/2 cup whole almonds
- 1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
- 1/4 cup raw sesame seeds
- 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 large egg white, beaten (optional, see note for vegans)
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon honey or agave nectar
- To make the granola: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a medium bowl, toss the oats, pistachios, almonds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, fennel seeds, salt, and cayenne pepper. Stir in the beaten egg white, oil, and honey or agave nectar until well blended. Transfer mixture to a rimmed baking sheet and bake, stirring halfway, until golden, about 16-19 minutes. Let the granola cool on the baking sheet.
- To make the dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, mustard and honey until emulsified. Season with a dash of sea salt and a generous amount of freshly ground black pepper.
- To prepare the kale: Use a chef’s knife to remove the tough ribs from the kale, then discard the ribs (or feed them to your dog!). Chop the kale leaves into small, bite-sized pieces. Transfer the chopped kale to a big salad bowl. Sprinkle a small pinch of sea salt over the kale and massage the leaves with your hands by lightly scrunching big handfuls at a time, until the leaves are darker in color and fragrant.
- To assemble the salad: Drizzle in the salad dressing (you might not need all of it) and toss well, until all of the kale is lightly coated in dressing. Add the sliced strawberries and chopped radishes, then use a fork to crumble the goat cheese over the salad. Toss again, then sprinkle with a couple handfuls of granola. For best flavor, let the salad rest for 15 minutes before serving (this gives the dressing time to soak into the kale).
Recipe adapted from Deb’s kale salad and Bon Appetit’s savory granola.
Massaged kale. What. Massaging the kale helps make the leaves more palatable, flavorful and fragrant. Don’t worry, you won’t hurt the kale in the process. :)
Why buy organic Conventionally grown strawberries and greens, like kale, tend to be high in pesticides, so it’s best to buy organic berries and greens.
Make it vegan: Add diced avocado instead of goat cheese. Use agave nectar or maple syrup in place of the honey. Skip the egg white in the granola, but keep an eye on the granola near the end of baking. It might be done a couple minutes early.
Make it gluten free: Be sure to use certified gluten-free oats.
Storage suggestions: This salad keeps well, refrigerated and covered, for a day or so. Store the granola in an air-tight freezer bag in the freezer. It’ll keep well for a couple of months. It’s good on salads, with fruit, as a snack, on yogurt, etc.
Recommended equipment: My Oxo salad spinner helps get all of the water off greens. Watery greens repel salad dressing, which makes for a not-so-great salad.
If you love this recipe: You’ll also love Deb’s kale salad with apples and pecans, my kale, clementine and feta salad, Asian chopped kale salad, spinach, strawberry and quinoa salad and honey almond granola. Also check out How Sweet Eats’ avocado citrus crunch salad with oat croutons.