I dreamed up this dish last summer when the farmer’s markets in Denver were fantastic, and honestly, it’s really delicious – the crunchy kale, sweet strawberries, and creamy avocado all provide tons of flavor. I provided a dressing here that I think works well with the bold flavors, but feel free to try your own dressing based on your tastes.
Summer is the time to get your fill of berries while the prices are low and the flavor is unbeatable. Strawberries – the heart-shaped members of the rose family – make the list of top 20 antioxidant foods and may help improve cholesterol, lower blood pressure, and fight against cancer. One cup of strawberries provides 112% of your daily free-radical fighting vitamin C, and they are high in phytonutrients that help lower C-reactive protein, an inflammatory marker raised by stress. Additionally, their high fiber content helps give them a low glycemic index, so they won’t cause the same spike in blood sugar that other fruits might (great if you have diabetes!).
Not to mention they’re delicious.
Crispy kale salad with avocado and strawberries
Note: The textures and flavors shine through on their own, and I had a hard time coming up with a salad dressing recipe that did this baby justice. I provided a dressing here that I think works well with the bold flavors, but feel free to try your own dressing based on your tastes.
5 curly kale stalks, leaves removed from stems
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
3 fresh strawberries, sliced
1/4 of a ripe avocado, sliced
Berry balsamic vinaigrette:
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons fruity olive oil
Pinch of salt
Pinch of pepper
- Preheat oven to 300F. Tear the kale leaves into bite-sized pieces and place in a bowl. Drizzle with the olive oil and use your fingers to rub each kale piece with oil to evenly distribute. Scatter the kale on two foil-lined sheet pans and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 10-15 minutes until toasted, then cool completely for maximum crunch.
- While the kale bakes, prepare the berry balsamic vinaigrette. Combine all ingredients in a small food processor and whirl until smooth. Taste and adjust flavors as desired.
- Divide the toasted kale between two bowls and top with the fresh strawberry and avocado slices. Drizzle with the berry balsamic and serve immediately.