Summer Kale Salad with Blueberries

· · · · ·

This page contains affiliate links. For more information please read my Disclosure Policy.

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.

kale salad with berries, peaches, and cheese.

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.

The Salad

  • 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.
Ingredients for making a summer kale salad with blueberries, goat cheese, peaches, and pecans.

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.

a large platter of massaged kale.
Kale after it’s been massaged with oil and salt.

Assembly Tips

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.

a large platter with a kale salad topped with berries, peaches, nuts, and balsamic vinaigrette.

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!

a white bowl with salad made with kale, fruit, nuts, and cheese.

Summer Kale Salad with Blueberries

Mikayla M.
A light and refreshing combination of massaged, tender kale with fresh berries, peaches, pecans, and goat cheese, all tossed with a delicious homemade blueberry balsamic vinaigrette.
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Course dinner, Lunch, Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 4 people
Calories 430 kcal

Ingredients
  

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

Instructions
 

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.

Notes

*Massaged, undressed kale will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days.
*To make ahead, prep everything but leave unassembled until ready to serve. This will work for meal prep as well.
*Serving size is for entrees.

Nutrition

Calories: 430kcalCarbohydrates: 16gProtein: 8gFat: 39gSaturated Fat: 8gPolyunsaturated Fat: 6gMonounsaturated Fat: 23gCholesterol: 13mgSodium: 418mgPotassium: 249mgFiber: 4gSugar: 11gVitamin A: 1872IUVitamin C: 29mgCalcium: 100mgIron: 2mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Nutrition information and cooking times are provided as a best estimate. Values may vary based upon ingredients and equipment.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe Rating




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.