Dana Slatkin

Strawberry Kale & Quinoa Salad with Cranberries, Nuts & Margarita Dressing

strawberry kale salad

Photo credit: Pat Illing

Slightly adapted from Michele Gan, Serves You Right Catering

Funny how spring always feels like the shortest season of the year. When you’re gunning for summer, all it takes is a few days of sunshine to prompt some wishful thinking. Besides, kids are already out of school (what’s up with that?), juicy berries and tomatoes crowd the stands at our farmers markets, and barbeques are firing up in backyards all over town. Here in SoCal, spring is already old news.

In case you think another kale salad is a snooze, too, try this one from superstar Los Angeles caterer Michele Gan. After serving it at a cooking class earlier this month, I got so many requests for the recipe that I promised to share it with you. Luckily, the lovable Michele graciously obliged.

That kale is so darned good for us doesn’t even begin to tell the whole story. Michele massages the leaves the night before to help break down the roughage, infusing them with an addictive sweet and tangy vinaigrette (she cuts her kale into Caesar-like squares; I like mine daintily julienned). Then, just before serving, the salad gets festooned with beautiful sliced strawberries, an unexpected, summery twist.

It’s a winner of a salad, one you can put your own stamp on and scale up for a gathering of any size. I’ll be making it for all my upcoming picnics, cookouts and warm-weather feasts. Let’s just hope summer lasts a lot longer than spring did.

There is still time to enter my May Giveaway! I will announce the winner of the groovy market tote and organic olive oil from the Farmgirl Store next week.

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