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Enjoy the combination of sweet and savory flavors with this fresh Summer Kale Salad with Blueberries. Berries, pecans, peaches, goat cheese, and a blueberry balsamic vinaigrette are tossed with tender, massaged kale to create a healthy, vibrant entrée or side.
Are you ready to discover your new favorite way to use summer fruit? Introducing this summer kale salad with blueberries, peaches, and strawberries. It might be one of my top 3 salads ever, it really is that good.
The layers of fresh, seasonal fruit and kale that’s been massaged into tender submission create the most refreshing salad. A seriously scrumptious blueberry balsamic vinaigrette is like the icing on your
cake healthy salad, and ties all the textures and vibrant ingredients together into a bite that would make even the most adamant kale denier go for seconds.
Ingredients & Substitutions
Get ready for a bowl full of summer. Here’s everything I added to this amazing kale salad, plus suggestions for how you can quickly and easily make it your own.
- Kale – I used curly kale, but you can use whatever looks best at the market. I’ve gone with Lacinato or red and they’ve both been great.
- Blueberries – Fresh is the way to go here!
- Peach – Use any peach you like, just choose one that’s ripe and sweet. Other stone fruits like plums or nectarines are also really great!
- Strawberries – Again you want fresh berries for this. If you can’t find good strawberries, swap in raspberries, blackberries, or double up on blueberries.
- Goat Cheese – My favorite cheese for this salad is honey goat cheese. It’s super creamy, and has a tangy sweet flavor. I’ve also used regular goat cheese, blueberry goat cheese, and feta and they’re all delicious.
- Pecans – I usually sprinkle them on raw but they’re also easy to toast in a 350°F oven if you’d like. Just spread them on a sheet pan and stir every 3 minutes for 10 minutes.
- Olive oil – You need just a splash to massage the kale.
- Salt – I always season salads before dressing and topping them, and in this case, salt also helps break down the fibrous kale into tender yummy greens.
The Homemade Blueberry Balsamic Vinaigrette
It’s a really easy dressing that’s made with blueberries, balsamic, dijon mustard, water, salt, and olive oil.
Since you’re already working with fresh berries, that’s what I use for the dressing, but frozen blueberries are also fine. If you have a very strong tasting olive oil, canola or vegetable oil will work just fine.
How and Why to Massage Kale
Kale is incredibly healthy. It’s packed with antioxidants, minerals, fiber, and vitamins, it’s called a superfood for a reason! It’s also bitter and tough when raw.
The fruit definitely helps offset the intensity of kale, but this summer kale salad also uses the same massaging technique I did in my warm kale asparagus salad to make sure the greens are mellowed and tender.
It’s very easy! Once your kale is washed and cut (I love this salad spinner), add it to a large bowl and drizzle over 1 teaspoon of olive oil with ¼ teaspoon of salt. Get in there with
clean hands and massage it, almost like you’re kneading bread. You won’t hurt it, I promise.
You literally want to bruise it, and the salt and oil help tenderize it perfectly. I usually go for 2-3 minutes, or until I see that the leaves are darker in color and less stiff.
A kale salad with blueberries like this one is great for meal prep, and this is a great place to stop for that. Massaged kale will store in the fridge for 3 days without wilting, and can be topped and dressed anytime.
How to de-stem kale – grip the bottom of the stem and rip the leaves upward with another hand. Or use a stripping tool like this one.
Cook the blueberries for the dressing – The simple technique of simmering or roasting the berries before blending them draws out the natural sweetness and intensifies the blueberry flavor. I don’t need to add any sugar and the dressing will be perfectly sweet.
- To simmer – Add the blueberries to a small saucepan with 2 tablespoons of water and place it over medium high heat. Stir every few minutes, lightly mashing the berries to release juice. When they’ve darkened in color and released liquid, turn off the heat. This is my recommended technique.
- To Roast – Turn your oven on to 400°F and spread blueberries over a silicone baking mat or compostable parchment. Let them roast, stirring every 5 minutes for 15-20 minutes, or until dark, juicy, and bubbling.
Assemble dressing first – once the blueberries are cooked, pop everything but the olive oil in a blender and puree. Then add the oil and pulse until everything is combined. Be wary of over-blending or the dressing will thicken. Add water if that’s the case. Chill the dressing then. It will store for 1 week in the fridge.
Toss the kale before topping – Before you load up the greens with tender summer fruit, add a healthy drizzle of the dressing and toss the greens by themselves. Then add the toppings and drizzle over more dressing. This will make sure you don’t bruise the delicate fruit or smush the cheese while tossing the salad.
How to Serve
This is definitely hearty enough to serve all on its own, but you can also add protein to make it a more hearty meal. It’s also great as a side dish. These are a few suggestions that will go great with the homemade vinaigrette.
Make it your own
I hope you love this summer kale salad with blueberries as much as I do! The creamy goat cheese, fresh fruit, and sweet balsamic dressing make it such a light, refreshing salad that has everything you want for sweet, salty, savory.
Give it a try, and also feel free to make it your own! Swap in blackberries and nectarines, use walnuts, almonds, or pistachios. Avocado is also a lovely addition. Make sure you massage the kale, and taste, taste, taste as you go. Happy Eating everyone, I’d love to hear what you think!
Summer Kale Salad with Blueberries
Summer Kale Salad
- 1 large bunch of kale any variety
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup blueberries fresh
- 1/2 cup strawberries sliced
- 1 large peach sliced
- 3/4 cup pecans
- 4 ounces goat cheese creamy
Blueberry Balsamic Vinaigrette
- 1/2 cup blueberries
- 2 tablespoons water
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup olive oil
Make the Dressing First
- Place the 1/2 cup of blueberries into a saucepan with the water and place it over medium high heat.
- Stir, crushing lightly with a spoon, until bubbly and the juices have released. About 5 minutes.
- Add to a blender with Dijon, Balsamic, and salt. Puree.
- Add the olive oil and pulse until just combined. Taste and add salt as needed. Chill until ready to serve.
Assemble the Salad
- Wash and dry the kale, then remove the stems. Chop into 2" pieces and place in a large bowl.
- Drizzle the kale with 1 teaspoon of olive oil and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Massage them into the kale for 2-3 minutes or until the kale has darkened slightly in color and is less stiff. Set aside.
- Slice the strawberries and peach.
- Add a 2 tablespoons of dressing to the kale and toss to coat.
- Add the blueberries, strawberries, peach slices, and pecans to the top of the kale. Break goat cheese across the top.
- Top with another drizzle of dressing and serve.
Nutrition information and cooking times are provided as a best estimate. Values may vary based upon ingredients and equipment.