Strawberry Kale Salad

Here’s some old news. I’ve been trying to eat more salads. And like everyone else on Planet AMERICA, I haven’t been able to avoid the nagging current of kale salads. And I’m not completely sold on that ticket, I mean, the ticket of kale curing every ailment and making your skin glow with the light of a thousand Viking funerals, but variety is important and I do know there’s more to salads than iceberg or even Romaine. So, kale salad, come on down.

Isn't it beautiful?

Isn’t it beautiful?

This is Lacinato -- or Dinosaur -- kale. Curly kale works, too.

This is Lacinato — or Dinosaur — kale. Curly kale works, too.

The key is to massage your kale. Not like in a dirty, sexualized way, but in a friendly, washing the poor guy’s feet kind of way. You want to rub the salt and lemon juice right into the leaves to soften them up and make them easier to chew than non-massaged kale, which is like chewing grass.

Pre-massage, this kale is tough and leathery and veiny

Pre-massage, this kale is tough and leathery and veiny

Post-massage, this kale is relaxed and ready to get down to the business of making you extra healthy

Post-massage, this kale is relaxed and ready to get down to the business of making you extra healthy

The strawberries add some juiciness to the salad so you don’t need to use as much oil in the dressing. That’s a pretty good trick to remember. I, of course, then turned around and also added nuts and cheese so I’m not sure I’m really saving anything in the calorie department. But I feel like as long as I’m eating my vegetables, what’s the harm in drowning them in oil and/or cheese, right?

Am I wrong? I might be wrong.

Here's what kale salad looks like on a plate

Here’s what kale salad looks like on a plate

4.0 from 2 reviews
Strawberry Kale Salad
Prep time
Total time
Serves: 4
  • 1 bunch kale
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice (1/2 lemon)
  • drizzle hot chili oil (or olive oil)
  • 1 cup sliced strawberries
  • ½ cup chopped pecans
  • ½ cup crumbled queso fresco or Feta
  • Dressing:
  • 1 tablespoon Balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  1. Cut the tough ends off the kale bunch. Slice the rest into 1" strips.
  2. Put kale into a large bowl and sprinkle with salt, lemon juice, and drizzle of oil. Massage kale with your hands for 2-3 minutes until it has wilted slightly.
  3. Lightly toast pecans in a dry skillet over medium-high heat. Cool.
  4. Add strawberries and pecans to kale.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk dressing ingredients together. Pour over kale and toss lightly.
  6. Add cheese last, right before serving.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 2 cups Calories: 284 Fat: 22 Carbohydrates: 18 Fiber: 4 Protein: 7.5


For a more fun way to eat kale, try making this Spicy Thai Kale Chips recipe!

Also, you might’ve noticed I added nutrition information to the recipe. I have NO CLUE how accurate it may be. I just plugged the ingredients and servings into an online calculator.


  1. I, too, have turned away from the sub sandwich/hamburger frenzy and toward the salad. Greens have always been a favorite of mine but of the cooked variety. Check out my blog for some cool places to get salads and some salad ideas. BTW, I loved the Viking funeral metaphor. So funny!

  2. If only salads had more meat :-)

  3. That is one beautiful salad, Hilah. I’m also not convinced that Kale is curing everything but bee stings, but hey it is very good. Your salad has a few of my favorites including strawberries and pecans. Btw I hope you all have a fun holiday weekend.

  4. What exactly does kale taste like? The only time I’ve eaten it is in zuppa toscana, and the taste of the sausage and spices kind of drowns out the other flavors. I usually hate salads because I can’t stand the taste or consistency of lettuce, but I do enjoy the occasional spinach salad. Is kale more like lettuce, spinach, or something completely different?

    • Hi Nick!
      Kale to me is very similar to collard greens, if you’ve had those. It’s nothing like lettuce at all. The texture is tougher and “meatier” than lettuce, not really crisp or watery like lettuce usually is. The flavor is slightly bitter, perhaps like raw broccoli.
      If you have a big salad bar place nearby, they probably have raw kale in one of the bins. That might be a good place to just have a small taste and see what you think before buying a whole bunch. :)

  5. I’ve made this salad twice in one week. It’s great as is, but I also love that the simplicity allows you to get creative with it, too. The second time I made it added some crumbled bacon. I think it helped balance the tang of the balsamic and feta.

    Hilah, I love that you blend simple, down-home recipes with the fancy-pants gourmet dishes. Growing up, my family didn’t have a lot of money, but my mom was an incredible cook. She made delicious and simple food, but she was always trying new recipes and cuisines. Nowadays my mom, sister, and I are always swapping recipes and learning from each other. Food, for me, is home and your recipes give me that feeling. I can’t wait to see where your talent takes you!

    • Thank you, Morgan. You comment just made me smile real big on a hard day. :)
      I grew up the same way, not a lot of money but a resourceful mom and grandma that could both make a meal out of any empty pantry and it would be good, too! So happy to hear that you’re playing around with this recipe. Recipes are meant to be changed, in my opinion. Thanks for writing!

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