Sweet, tangy and so refreshing too! This simple kale salad recipe is always a hit at parties and perfect for summer!
Anyone else been on a crazy salad kick lately?! I think I’ve eaten one at least one a day (maybe even twice a day) and honestly I don’t see it letting up any time soon. But let’s face it loves… it’s summer, it’s hot and no one feels like turning on the oven right now, right?! RIGHT! Which is exactly why this grape and feta kale salad needs to be on your summer menu asap!
Ingredients for your kale salad
- Grapes: I love using red seedless grapes for this kale salad recipe because they add so much sweetness and are incredibly juicy too!
- Feta: Adds a little bit of saltiness to balance the sweetness from your grapes.
- Green kale: Provides a sturdy base for your salad and is also mild in flavor! (Look for kale that’s more firm to the touch and not soft/wilted for the best results.)
- Candied almonds: Gives a nice crunch to your kale salad while also providing a touch of sweetness too!
- Lemon-dijon vinaigrette: A simple sweet and tangy salad dressing that ties all of your ingredients together!
- Grapes: Strawberries, sliced peaches, chopped apples or blueberries
- Feta Cheese: Goat cheese (for a sweeter salad) or cotija cheese
- Candied Almonds: Walnuts, pecans or pepitas (Follow the same steps for candying or use your favorite store bought brand)
Massaging your kale
Rule number one when it comes to kale salads… ALWAYS MASSAGE YOUR KALE! Now if you’re brand new to the kale world this is probably going to sound like a pretty silly concept but trust me loves, massaging your kale leaves really makes all the difference! So what’s so special about massaging kale for a salad? Well for starters, it helps to break down the tough outer leaves and makes them softer and easier to eat and digest. (Plus it also turns them a really pretty bright green color too which is just gorgeous in salad! 😉 )
How to massage kale
- Cut the kale leaves off the stem and then cut the leaves into bite sized pieces.
- Drizzle 1 tsp of olive oil and the juice from 1/2 lemon over the kale. (Sometimes I’ll use avocado oil spray instead of olive oil. You just need a few squirts.)
- Next rub the kale together with your hands to fully incorporate the oil and lemon juice throughout. Do this for at least 5 minutes. (The kale should begin to soften and turn a bright vibrant green color. You’ll also notice that the amount of kale you have will “shrink” too.)
- Once the kale is ready you can store it in the fridge until you’re ready to make your salad. (Prepared kale should last for a few days before going bad.)
How to make an easy lemon-dijon vinaigrette
This vinaigrette is one of my favorite kale salad dressings! It’s a little sweet, a little tangy, only 4 ingredients and so easy to make! (Don’t just save it for this salad though – You can also try it on your favorite kale salad or regular salad too!)
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 2 tsp honey
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- 1 tsp extra light tasting olive oil
- Cracked black pepper, to taste
- Whisk all of your ingredients together in a bowl and pour it over your kale salad when you’re ready to eat. It’s that easy!
The best (& easiest) candied almonds
“Candying” nuts used to sound so intimidating to me… That was until I found this super simple way that’s soo much better for you and only uses 3 ingredients too! They’re the perfect addition to your grape and feta kale salad! (Plus they’re lower in sugar, gluten free and egg free!)
- 1 cup raw almonds
- 1 Tbsp maple syrup (Use the real stuff!)
- Cracked sea salt
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Next mix your almonds, maple syrup and a few cracks of salt together in bowl and pour them onto your prepared baking sheet.
- Spread your almonds out to form an even layer and bake for 6-7 minutes. (Or until they just start to turn golden brown.)
- Remove your almonds from the oven and let them cool completely before adding them to your salad.
And that’s all there is to it loves! This is by far one of the best kale salad recipes you’ll try this summer and it’s always a hit with guests too! I hope you’re all having an amazing day!
More kale salad recipes you might like:
- Summer Peach & Blueberry Kale Salad
- Mixed Berry Kale Salad with Lemon Poppyseed Dressing
- Mexican Street Corn Kale Salad
- Citrus & Pomegranate Kale Salad
- Apple White Cheddar & Toasted Pecan Kale Salad
[Made one of my recipes? Make sure to tag my social media @kalefornia_kravings – I love seeing what you create!]
Grape and Feta Kale Salad
For the salad:
- 1 bunch kale, leaves cut off the stem and chopped
- 1½ cup grapes, sliced
- ½ cup feta cheese*
- 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil (see substitution below)
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
For the candied almonds:
- 1 cup raw almonds
- 1 Tbsp maple syrup (use the real stuff!)
- Cracked sea salt, to taste
For the lemon-dijon vinaigrette:
- ¼ cup lemon juice (about 2 large lemons)
- 2 tsp honey
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- 1 tsp olive oil (I like using extra light tasting)
- Cracked pepper, to taste
To make the vinaigrette:
- Whisk all the vinaigrette ingredients together and keep it stored it in the fridge while you prepare the rest of your salad.
To make the candied almonds:
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Next mix your almonds, maple syrup and a few cracks of sea salt together in bowl then pour them onto your prepared baking sheet. Spread your almonds out to form an even layer and bake for 6-7 minutes or until they just start to turn golden brown. Remove your almonds from the oven and let them cool completely.
To make the salad:
- Place your kale leaves in a bowl and drizzle them with olive oil and lemon juice. Then rub the leaves together with your hands for at least 5 minutes or until the kale begins to soften and turn a bright vibrant green color.
- Once done, add your grapes and feta cheese and pour your desired amount of vinaigrette over the top. Toss the salad and sprinkle it with your candied almonds just before serving.