This Balsamic Kale Salad Recipe is quick & easy, so healthy, & full of creamy feta, toasty pecans, & tart berries. All smothered in a balsamic vinaigrette.
Kale. Yeah. That’s how I feel about this Balsamic Kale Salad Recipe. This kale salad will brighten up your dreary winter-y day, will make you feel so healthy, because, um, you’re eating k.a.l.e., and will satisfy your foodie loving self, because the combo of my easy homemade balsamic vinaigrette, creamy feta, toasty pecans, and tart berries is super good.
Salads, for me, can go two ways.
1. It can be boring, texture-less, and just bleh.
2. It can be so exciting, full of fun textures, and be so tasty that you forget you’re actually eating something ridiculously good FOR you.
This balsamic kale salad definitely fits in the second category.
Who else is excited for salad?! 😉
Now. If I’m going to eat a salad and actually be happy about it, it needs to be full of different flavors and textures to keep me interested.
First, let’s talk flavor.
Tangy feta meets toasty pecans meets bright red onion <– yum.
But it doesn’t end there, with that goes tart raspberries and blackberries that really rounds out the salad.
My favorite part, however, is the dressing. It’s a homemade balsamic vinaigrette that I KNOW you’re gonna flip for. All you need to do is place olive oil, balsamic vinegar, honey, dijon mustard, garlic, salt, and pepper into a mason jar (or similar container), place the lid on, and shake it all together!
This vinaigrette may be simple, but it’s definitely not lacking in flavor.
Now, let’s talk texture.
It all starts with the kale, because what’s a balsamic kale salad without the kale? 😉
Today, we’re using curly kale. Kale is definitely a heartier, kind of tough green, so to break it down a bit, we “massage” the kale with a little of the balsamic vinaigrette. You literally place bite sized pieces of kale into a bowl, pour on a little dressing, and use your hands to rub together the kale. This helps to break down the cellulose structure in the kale and make the kale go from tough –> soft. You’ll be able to see and taste the difference, as the kale will darken, shrink, and become silky.
I think that’s kinda cool. 😉
Now the kale may be the base of this balsamic kale salad, but the texture stars, for me, are the additional mix ins.
I love how juicy, soft, and plump the raspberries and blackberries are, how creamy the feta is, and how crunchy the pecans are. The combination with the kale is just salad perfection if you ask me!
A lotta flavor, a lotta texture…I’m telling you, this balsamic kale salad is the least boring salad EVER. 😉
Balsamic Kale Salad Recipe
Equipment for this recipe
- 4 cups curly kale packed (ribs removed) torn into bite sized pieces
- 1 (6 oz) package raspberries/blackberries strawberries would also be great
- 1/4 cup crumbled feta or goat cheese
- 1/4 cup chopped toasted pecans*
- 1/4 red onion thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- Place all ingredients into a mason jar, place lid on, and shake until well combined.
Balsamic Kale Salad
- Place torn kale into a large mixing bowl.
- Pour in a little bit of the dressing and massage the kale, using your hands, for a few minutes - this helps break the kale down and make it soft.**
- Place the rest of the ingredients into the bowl with the kale and toss together.
- Taste and add as much balsamic vinaigrette as you'd like.
- Serve and enjoy!
*Note: Nutrition information is estimated and varies based on products used.