Whether the idea for this salad originated with a neighbor's gift of some kale stalks, a few gorgeous strawberries in the refrigerator, or a bag of sliced almonds I found in the freezer when I was searching for walnuts, I really can't remember. What I do know is that the combination is magical: sweet strawberry, bitter kale and crunchy almonds, bound together with a yogurt-based vegetarian Caesar salad dressing. For the longest time, I never added fruit into green salads. I can't imagine why not, as the sweet bite of fruit really makes a salad pop. Strawberries are available year-round in my local markets. While they're not the same as garden-fresh berries, they're fine here, and the color brightens up my cold weather salads.
Strawberry, kale and toasted almond Caesar salad
Serves 2-3 as a main course salad; can be multiplied.
For the dressing:
1 large garlic clove, peeled
1/2 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
1/4 cup grated romano cheese (or substitute Parmigiano-Reggiano)
2 tsp Dijon mustard
2 tsp red wine vinegar
2 tsp lemon juice
2 tsp olive oil
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp fresh black pepper
For the salad:
3 Tbsp sliced almonds
6 cups baby kale leaves, stems trimmed if too long or tough
12 strawberries, stems removed, cut in half lengthwise
In a blender, combine all ingredients for the dressing, and blend until the garlic is chopped and incorporated with the rest of the ingredients. Set aside.
In a small, dry, nonstick frying pan over low heat, toast the sliced almonds for 3-4 minutes. Shake the pan frequently, until the almonds are slightly browned. Remove from heat.
Combine the kale and strawberries in a large mixing bowl, and add just enough dressing to moisten the salad without drowning it. Divide into two or three individual salad bowls, and top with the toasted almonds.
More green salads with fruit in The Perfect Pantry:
Tangerine and feta salad
Fennel, pear and olive salad
Arugula, berries and goat cheese salad with poppy seed dressing
My favorite green salad, with tomato, cucumber, nectarines and olives
Pear and brie salad with cashews and dried cranberries
Other recipes that use these pantry ingredients:
Kale salad with pecorino and walnuts, from Smitten Kitchen
Chopped kale salad with grapes and feta cheese, from Cookin' Canuck
Kale salad with quinoa, tangerines and roasted almonds, from Gluten-free Goddess
Kale salad with apricots, avocado and parmesan, from The Kitchn
Kale and chard green power salad with maple vinaigrette, from Aggie's Kitchen
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