“When you cook, you never stop learning. That’s the fascination of it.” – James Beard. This quote appeared in my Twitter feed yesterday and really resonated with me. When I prepared this salad, I discovered kale to be my new favorite salad green. What also surprised me was how strawberries can work well in a savory salad with roasted kale and salty feta and almonds tossed in a champagne vinaigrette.
Roasting the kale was a spur of the moment decision. I’m not fond of raw kale or chard, but I had plans to massage the raw kale and give it another whirl in hopes of changing my mind. The thought of roasted kale tossed in olive oil and coarse salt sounded more delicious.
Only the edges of the leaves get crispy so they don’t turn into kale chips. So keep an eye out so they don’t turn brown either because the leaves are so delicate. Roasting brings out a depth of flavor in the leafy greens compared to raw kale.
If you don’t have champagne vinegar, no worries! White wine vinegar is the perfect substitute. I used a bag of roasted, salted almonds and roughly chopped them for the salad. Because, you know, I love salt with just about everything.
Strawberry, Feta, and Kale Salad
inspired by Food & Wine
Careful not to over-roast. When roasting the kale, only the edges should be crisp while the inner leaves should be soft to keep them from turning into kale chips. Don’t have champagne vinegar? No worries. White wine vinegar will work perfectly. I also prefer using lacinato “dinosaur” “tuscan” kale because the leaves are flat versus the curly leafed kind, but either one will work.
1 bunch lacinato kale, leaves torn into bite-size pieces
extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
1 cup strawberries, hulled and quartered
1/4 cup crumbled feta
1/4 cup roasted salted almonds, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons champagne vinegar
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 400 degree F.
Arrange the kale on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Toss to coat. Roast for 6 to 8 minutes until kale is slightly crisp only around the edges. The inner leaves should still be soft. Remove from the oven to cool.
Meanwhile make the vinaigrette. In a small bowl, add the champagne vinegar, dijon mustard, and olive oil. Whisk together until well blended. Season with salt and pepper.
To assemble the salad: Arrange the kale on salad plates. Top with strawberries, feta, and almonds. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the salad and serve.