Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Watermelon Kale Salad

I recently planted kale in my garden and have been enjoying it as salads with our meals. 

From various combinations created, this salad is one we all enjoy.  It is a colorful, healthy, and yummy version of a salad that is perfect for enjoying in summer outside. 

  The simple dressing was taken from a Michael Smith recipe I recently enjoyed with my gourmet group. This salad looks beautiful with the dark greens, pink melon and white cheese, and the dressing is strong in flavour to pair up with the kale. The toasted nuts create a lovely crunch and nutty flavour to the fresh produce. A great pairing of food in every way...and a big hit with all my friends who have tried it.

One of my pet-peeves of salads is when they are made in bowls and all the toppings are either on the top (so the first few to eat get them all) or they all fall to the bottom (and the last to eat it get them all). My solution to this create a salad on a plate. The bigger the salad, the bigger the plate and ALL toppings are equally distributed and enjoyed by all. Plus it looks so much more appetizing with all the toppings visible.  So here is to Plate salads!

Watermelon Kale Salad

2 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
2 Tbsp Dijion mustard
1 - 2 Tbsp liquid honey (or applebutter, or maple syrup, or agave nectar)
4 Tbsp Olive Oil
Sea Salt and Black pepper

Using a shaker or bowl that allows for good whisking, add the vinegar, mustard and honey and whisk or shake until well mixed.  Add in the oil and whisk/shake until blended.  Season with sea salt and fresh black pepper.  You can make a large batch and store the remaining dressing for a week in the fridge.

* please note all amounts for the salad are approximate. I never measure my ingredients for something like this so the amounts are approximate.
5 cups Kale* - cut into fine pieces ( or as much as you need for your salad)
1- 2 cups Watermelon - bite-size cube pieces
1 cup cucumber - diced into bite-size pieces
1/4 cup Almond pieces - lightly toasted
1/4 cup Feta Cheese - crumbled
1/2 cup Fresh cilantro - finely chopped

In a larger bowl, place the Kale and cilantro.  Toss with the desired amount of dressing.  As the kale has a stronger, thicker leaf, it will not wilt with the dressing on it like regular lettuce would but leftovers may be soggy leaves by the following day.

Using a large serving plate, place the kale over the plate.  Sprinkle the remaining ingredients over the the kale to create a beautiful artwork of food.  Enjoy.

Cook's Notes:
Kale - For those new to kale, it is a member of the cruciferous family (ie broccoli and cauliflower) and has great nutritional values - raw, steam, sauted, or cooked. It can be mixed in with other greens, added to soups and stews and is often used in smoothies. 

From the picture of my garden, you can see the frilly edge of the kale, and it is very easy to grow and harvest.  So far it is bug-free as well.  In contrast with my overgrown squash plant and the light green leaf lettuce, the kale has a bluegreen color which I like on my plate. 
For enjoying in my salad, I will either cut my kale with a knife into thinner slivers (a bit like you cut cabbage) or tear it into small bite-size pieces.  Some say to massage your kale before cutting and dressing it to decrease the bitter taste.  I have not been hard-core on this as my kale is young and more tender but it may be worth trying.


  1. The Kale in our garden is a growin' and I haven't even used it yet! Thanks for the inspiration. This salad is going to hit our plates this weekend for sure!

  2. Hi Jen, I'm passing this on to our "farm share" people as we have a ton of kale and this is one of my favorite recipes to use for it. Thanks!!

  3. So glad to hear this is a favorite recipe. I hope others will enjoy it as well! thanks Miriam.