Kale, Strawberry, and Mandarin Orange Salad

Kale, Strawberry, and Mandarin Orange Salad

This is a delicious salad made with a surprising ingredient – raw kale. The dressing is sweet and tart. The strawberries add a zing that really sets it apart.  Our Executive Director highly recommends this one.


1 bunch Kale

1 lb Strawberries, sliced

1 Can Mandarin Orange Segments (11 oz)

2 Tablespoons Sesame Seeds, toasted


1 Tablespoons Shallots, Minced

2 Whole Lemons, Juice and Zest

2 Teaspoons Dijon Mustard

2 Teaspoons Honey/Brown Sugar

1 Tablespoon Fresh Thyme, chopped

1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

2 Teaspoons Ground Pepper

1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil



Fill a large mixing bowl with tap water.

Clean the kale. Pull the curly leaves off at the stem, discarding the stems. Dunk a couple of handfuls at a time of the de-stemmed leaves in the bowl of water. Let them float there a few seconds, tapping them down into the water a bit, so that any dirt and debris can sink to the bottom of the bowl. Pluck those handfuls out of the water, placing them on a cutting board or paper towels. Repeat this until all of the kale is cleaned, it will probably take 5-10 minutes to clean one bunch. Discard the water and rinse the bowl.

Chop the kale. Working with a couple of handfuls of the kale leaves at a time, chop it into 1/2 inch pieces. You want it large enough to be speared by a fork, but not so big it’s more than a small bite. Put the chopped kale into the rinsed mixing bowl.

Make the vinaigrette. In a medium sized glass or ceramic mixing bowl, add the shallots, lemon juice, lemon zest, mustard, sugar/honey, thyme, salt, and pepper. Mix this well with a wire whisk. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil while whisking to emulsify properly. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed. You want this to be a little sweet with a good tart background.

Dress the kale. Pour most of the vinaigrette over the chopped kale – reserve a few tablespoons in case you want to add more later. You don’t want to over-dress this salad.

Toss the kale. Now for the messy part – “massage” the vinaigrette into the kale. Kale has a water-resistant exterior that needs some coaxing to take hold of the dressing. I conquer this by tossing the whole mess vigorously with my hands a few times.

Marinate the kale. Cover the bowl with plastic and let it set in a refrigerator or on the counter while you’re preparing the rest of your meal. The time marinating will also help to tenderize the kale a bit.

Assemble the salad. You can do this in individual bowls or in the larger bowl. If you do it individually, place the kale in the center of a bowl. Sprinkle the toasted sesame seeds on top to taste. Add as many strawberry and orange slices as desired.

Dig in and enjoy!