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Baby Kale and Strawberry Salad Recipe

Excerpted from ‘Vegetable Revelations: Inspiration for Produce-Forward Cooking’ by Steven Satterfield (with Andrea Slonecker)

spinner image salad with kale, strawberries, celery, pecans and cheese on plate with fork
Andrew Thomas Lee

Makes 4 main-course servings, or 6 to 8 servings as a side dish

Most kale salads benefit from either finely chopping the kale or massaging the dressing into the mature leaves to soften them. But when kale is in the young, tender stage, as in this recipe, it’s a different story. A zippy strawberry vinaigrette coats the leaves, while more sliced berries and fresh chèvre are mixed with the earthy greens. I usually serve this salad in the springtime, when the new vintage of rosé wines is released.

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  • 8 ounces young, tender kale leaves
  • 1 pint strawberries
  • ½ cup chopped green garlic, white and green parts (see “Note” below)
  • ¼ cup white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon whole-grain mustard
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup sliced celery hearts
  • 4 ounces chèvre cheese, crumbled
  • ½ cup roasted pecan halves (see below)



spinner image cookbook that says vegetable revelations with a variety of vegetables; on wooden table with vegetables and plants behind it
Photo Collage: MOA Staff; (Source: Harper Wave an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, Getty Images (2))

Depending upon the maturity of the baby kale you find (toddler or teenager), there may be some tough, fibrous stems. If so, remove the stems from each kale leaf by lightly pinching the leaf together and pulling the stem upward.

Fill a large bowl or your clean kitchen sink with water and submerge the kale leaves. Pull the leaves out and place in a salad spinner, leaving the water, and any dirt that sinks to the bottom, behind. Spin or pat the kale dry and set aside.

Drop the strawberries into the water ever so briefly and pull them out immediately. (You don’t want strawberries to sit in water for any length of time as they are porous, and will absorb water almost instantly.) Drain and pat dry. Remove the green tops with a paring knife and cut the strawberries into halves if small or quarters if large.

In a blender, combine ¼ cup of the strawberries, the green garlic, vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper. Blend on high until it’s a smooth purée. With the motor running, drizzle in the oil to emulsify. Taste for seasoning and adjust to your liking.

In a large bowl, toss the kale and celery with enough of the dressing to lightly coat. Divide the salad among plates and top with the strawberries, chèvre, and pecans.


If green garlic is unavailable, substitute an equal amount of chopped green onions plus 1 clove of garlic, minced.

Roasted Nuts or Seeds

Roasting nuts or seeds brings out a richer, deeper flavor and crunchier texture. Always set a timer because they go from perfectly toasted to burnt rather quickly.

Use as many whole, chopped, sliced, or slivered nuts or seeds as you’d like to toast (usually 1 to 2 cups).

Heat the oven to 350°F. Spread the nuts or seeds on a rimmed baking sheet and roast until they smell or look nicely toasted, shaking them around the pan once or twice as they roast. Well-roasted nuts will have a deep, nutty brown color when one is broken open; seeds will have a golden brown exterior. Most whole nuts take 8 to 12 minutes. Seeds, smaller nuts, and chopped, sliced, or slivered ones will go more quickly, so check them after just a few minutes in the oven. Keep in mind they will continue to crisp as they cool after roasting.

Transfer the roasted nuts or seeds to a plate and set aside to cool completely. They will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two weeks.


Try More Salad Recipes

Salmon BLT Salad With Spicy Tomatillo Ranch Dressing from Truly Simple: 140 Healthy Recipes for Weekday Cooking by Kristin Cavallari

Arugula Salad With Whole-Lemon Vinaigrette from Salad Seasons: Vegetable-Forward Dishes All Year by Sheela Prakash

Miso-Maple Sugar Snap Pea, Turnip and Strawberry Salad from Tenderheart: A Cookbook About Vegetables and Unbreakable Family Bonds by Hetty Lui McKinnon

Summer Panzanella from A Dish for All Seasons: 125+ Recipe Variations for Delicious Meals All Year Round by Kathryn Pauline

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