Summer Kale Salad
Summer Kale Salad- massaged kale gets topped with fresh nectarines, tomatoes, corn and smoked almonds for a light and refreshing salad that’s perfect for entertaining or prepping for lunches!
It’s been a while since I’ve shared a salad recipe and I feel like we’re overdue. Especially because summertime is when my salad cravings start to kick into high gear. When the weather gets hot, light and refreshing meals are where it’s at. In addition to the occasional burger, of course. ;)
Now I know kale technically is a cooler weather vegetable but it’s pretty easy to find year round. I prefer it as a base for this salad because I find the slightly bitter flavor pairs well with the sweetness of the fruit and the corn. Plus it’s a nutrient powerhouse which is always a plus.
Summer Kale Salad Ingredients
- Kale– Even though I love kale for this salad you can always substitute romaine if you like and use the dressing on top rather than massaging it in. But if you can find kale and you enjoy it then I highly recommend going that route.
- Nectarines– I’m one of those weirdos that likes nectarines better than peaches but if you prefer the latter, feel free to use those instead.
- Corn Kernels– fresh corn cut from the cob makes for one fabulous salad ingredient! That said, frozen and defrosted corn will work just as well.
- Cherry Tomatoes– The acidic flavor of the tomatoes balances out the sweetness of the fruit and the corn. Cherry or grape tomatoes are best here.
- Smoked Almonds- For texture and flavor, smoky almonds are a must. You can either buy them ready to go or make them yourself using raw almonds, high heat oil and smoked paprika.
- Crumbled Feta- Completely optional but I love the creamy texture and salty flavor that feta adds. I use Violife dairy-free feta but you can also make your own using crumbled tofu.
- Lemon Basil Tahini Dressing- Massaged into the kale, this dressing helps mask the bitterness of the greens while providing a softer texture that’s packed full of lemon and basil flavor.
How to Make Summer Kale Salad
- Whisk together the Lemon Basil Tahini Dressing. Pour on top of the kale then use your hands to massage it into the leaves. This helps break down the kale to make it easier to eat and also masks any bitterness.
- Top with fruit, vegetables, smoked almonds and feta.
- Serve and enjoy!
Prepping the kale is the majority of the work. Once that’s done the salad comes together in a jiffy. And the best part is that it holds up well for several days so you can easily prep it in advance. Perfect for entertaining or healthy lunches!
Looking for more summer salads? Try one of these!
- Grilled Vegetable Summer Salad with Mozzarella
- Easy Lentil Taco Salads
- Roasted Corn Tomato Summer Salad with Lemon Basil Yogurt Dressing
- Garden Lentil Cucumber & Tomato Salad
Summer Kale Salad
For the Salad
- 2 bundles lacinato kale, stems removed and chopped
- 2 nectarines, pitted and diced
- 1 cup corn kernels, fresh or frozen and defrosted
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1/2 cup smoked almonds, chopped (see notes)
- 1/4 cup crumbled vegan feta, optional
For the Lemon Basil Tahini Dressing
- 3 tablespoons tahini
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 4 basil leaves, finely chopped
- salt to taste
- water to thin
- In a small bowl, whisk together the ingredients for the dressing until smooth. Add salt to taste and water as need to thin. I end up using about 4-5 tablespoons water.
- Place the chopped kale in a large bowl then pour the dressing over top. Using your hands, massage the dressing into the kale leaves until the kale starts to slightly wilt and is completely coated with dressing.
- Top kale with nectarines, corn, tomatoes, feta and almonds. Serve immediately or store sealed in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.