After moving to Bexley, OH from Chicago, nearly 5 years ago, I have slowly taken on gardening. Shame on me for not doing proper research or reading before starting a garden, but rather, I have opted to talking to neighbors, sharing ideas with my gardening guru cousin, and reading the back of the crop’s label on how far apart to plant my plants.

Nonetheless, I often don’t give them enough room, but either way, I thoroughly appreciate the harvest I bring in each week during the summer.

While the ingredients in this recipe are not entirely intuitive, they all arrived at the same time for my most recent backyard harvest. It was absolutely delicious and I am plotting to make more next week.

The picture above was taken a month plus prior to the below harvest, which I used for this recipe.

Summer Kale Salad

Kelly Schmidt
This seasonal salad is a party in your mouth, pulling in sweet, spicy and cool from the mint. It was refreshing and delicious and a must for summer gatherings.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Course Appetizer, Salad, Side
Cuisine American
Servings 4


  • 8 cups kale, large stems removed and roughly chopped
  • 1 small lemon, juiced
  • 1/3 cup olive oil 100% olive oil, extra virgin
  • 1 pinch sea salt, generous, to taste
  • 2 stems fresh mint, stems removed
  • 1/2 ea. onion, red, chopped
  • 1/3 cup dried strawberries, no sugar added Freeze-dried fruit works well too.
  • 2 large fresh banana peppers, sliced You could sub a jalapeno for these 2 banana peppers.


  • Once you’ve rinsed and dried your kale, run your hand along the stem to remove the green leaves from the stalky stem. You don’t have to remove the stem completely (we actually enjoy the top 2/3 in the salad).
  • Stack your stalks of kale on top of each other and finely chop in bite-size, ~2 inch pieces.
  • Add ~2 cups of kale to a large mixing at a time and top with lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil. Then massage with clean hands for about 3 minutes, adding kale little by little until all is added and massaged. The point of massaging is to infuse the kale with the lemon juice and oil, and also to break down some of the tough, fibrous characteristics of kale. Massaged kale salads are even better over time/the next day.
  • Top the kale with chopped dried strawberries, mint leaves and chopped red onion. Toss to even mix the ingredients together and serve.
  • Optional: complete this salad with beans or grilled protein and enjoy it as a main meal.


Keyword Blood-Sugar Friendly, High fiber