I made this salad the night that I got back from berry picking in Illinois. I bought the kale and strawberries at the farm and it made a huge difference. The ingredients were fresh and for a second, I forgot that I was eating a salad (which is the true test of salads, in my humble opinion).
My favorite part about this salad besides the berries is the red onion/avocado combo. I used to hate putting raw red onions in salad because I thought that they were too strong. I usually soak them in red wine vinegar to make them softer and more palatable.
In this salad, though, they shine. I realized that eating raw red onion and avocado is basically like eating guac. Once I figured that out, I enjoyed this salad even more. I tried to get an equal ratio of red onion and avocado in each forkful.
A word to the wise about making kale salads: Kale tends to be kind of tough and springy when you buy it. It often needs some taming before it makes its way into a salad.
A few years ago when I was still in grad school, I saw a chef at a bakery in Chicago sprinkle some sea salt on raw kale and then massage the leaves for about 30 seconds. Then she let the leaves sit for a while while she assembled the rest of the salad. By the time she added the other ingredients, the leaves were softer and easier to eat. I do the same thing now whenever I make kale salad.
In other news, here’s a song that I’ve been jamming out to lately. It’s good to play while chopping vegetables, making salad, hiding in your office reading the third Elena Ferrante novel, or pretty much whenever.
Kale Salad with Strawberries, Avocado, and Goat Cheese (from me, to you)
1 bunch of kale, leaves removed and roughly chopped
1/2 cup strawberries, sliced in half
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
1 avocado, sliced
1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese
juice from half a lemon
Place the kale leaves in a large bowl and sprinkle some sea salt on top, about 1/4 tsp. Massage the leaves for a few seconds and then leave the bowl on the counter while you slice the rest of the ingredients.
To assemble the salad, place the strawberries, red onion, avocado, and goat cheese on top. Squeeze some lemon juice on top and drizzle on some olive oil. Sprinkle generously with black pepper and a little more sea salt. Enjoy!