This kale strawberry salad includes a lemon mint vinaigrette that makes me excited to take the next bite. The bright lemon and mint add the perfect balance to the bitterness of kale.
More Easy Salad and Dressing Recipes
This swiss chard-cantaloupe salad with creamy basil dressing is a perfect, refreshing summer salad and this Spicy Cashew Dressing will add Asian flavors to a crunchy vegetable salad. Be sure to check out my full list of gluten-free salad dressing recipes including my easy strawberry vinaigrette recipe, pomegranate vinaigrette and blueberry vinaigrette.
Kale especially needs a sweet element to balance it’s bitterness. I used strawberries as the sweet but, I recommend using whichever fruit is in season. This means it will be sweeter and more flavorful. In the winter, orange slices or red apple would be a great substitute for the strawberries. The avocado makes this a rich and satisfying salad. Top it with my Gluten-Free Baguette Croutons and the lemon mint vinaigrette and you have the perfect salad in my opinion!
Kale and pumpkin seeds are great sources of iron, but iron from plants is not as easily absorbed as it is from animal sources. So if you pair plant based iron with vitamin C, the body is better able to absorb the iron. So I’ve added red cabbage and strawberries which also add some nice sweetness and beautiful color. The vinaigrette pulls this salad all together with a sweet and tangy brightness.
- Kale can be pretty tough uncooked. So you’ll marinate it in the lemon-mint dressing for a few minutes before plating. This will tenderize it and as well as balance the slight bitterness in kale.
- Mint oxidizes (turns brown) quickly. To retain the bright green color of the dressing, keep it refrigerated. If you are making the dressing ahead of time, I recommend waiting until the last minute to blend in the mint.
- Lemon Zest is the colorful outer layer of the peel. It has all the wonderful pop of lemon flavor. If you haven’t used lemon zest before, here is a quick tutorial on How to Zest a Lemon.
Kale Strawberry Salad with Lemon Mint Vinaigrette
Lemon Mint Vinaigrette
- 1 bunch of fresh mint leaves about 1 ounce
- 1 garlic clove
- zest of one lemon
- 3 Tbsps lemon juice
- 2 tbsp white wine or apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp agave honey or any other sweetener
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 2 pinches black pepper
- 1 cup olive oil
- 1 bunch of Tuscan Kale about 3 cups chopped
- 6 strawberries
- 1 small-medium sized avocado
- 1/3 cup chopped red cabbage
- 1/4 cup toasted pumpkin seeds
- Make the dressing
- Place all of the ingredients in the blender and run for 20 seconds.
- Taste. If it’s bland add a pinch or two of salt and a tsp more of vinegar. If it’s too sour add a tbsp more of oil and a tsp of sweetener. Not sour enough, add more vinegar. Get the idea? Taste and adjust by adding a little at a time of balancing ingredients.
- Make the salad
- Remove the stems form the kale and chop it into bite sized pieces. Place in a bowl and toss with 3 Tbsps of the dressing. Let it sit for 15-30 minutes while you prepare the other ingredients. This will marinate the kale and wilt it just enough to make it more tender.
- Rinse and slice the strawberries.
- Slice the avocado.
- Shave the cabbage and cut into bite sized pieces.
- Arrange the salad on the serving plate and top with the pumpkin seeds.