The most refreshing strawberry cucumber salad with kale, basil, mint and drizzled with balsamic reduction. Quick and easy plus vegan, gluten-free, paleo and Whole30 friendly.
Strawberries were a less than a dollar a pint at Meijer this week! One of my favorite parts of late spring/early summer is when alllll the strawberries go on sale and local farms start producing the juiciest, freshest berries. I’m wondering if the Michigan season will be a little late this year due to our crazy jump from winter/spring to holy moly it feels like summer.
Either way not complaining! Bring on alll the strawberries Memorial Day Weekend festivities.
Anything fun planned? Drew and I are pretty much just hanging around home. If it’s nice out I am sure we’ll find a lake somewhere (loads of inland lakes around) and head out in his parents boat for some bluegill fishing. And probably some type of cookout Monday which means guess who is charge of the salad? THIS GIRL.
I’m pretty much always “I’ll bring a salad!” because I just love having a good salad at cookouts. So refreshing this time of year. The boys usually couldn’t care less (they’re very much carnivores) but the girls always enjoy the salads and I love being able to share yummy creations with friends and family.
Anyways, I was standing in line at the grocery store the other day and saw some kind of strawberry cucumber salad on the cover of a magazine and immediately needed to share something of that nature with you here.
Kale Strawberry Cucumber Salad
I love throwing in a little kale into salads like this because you can sneakily add the kale and the dish doesn’t scream “I’M A KALE SALAD.” Which of course I don’t think is a bad thing… But you know you’re going to have those skeptics out there.
What you need
- lime juice
Super simple, fresh ingredients along with some pantry staples.
Another good way to get people to dive into a salad like this is to make it pretty.
Enter: spiralized cucumbers.
Spiralizing veggies is the the bomb dot com. And in this case spiralizing the cucumber is much quicker than dicing. Which means you’ll have this strawberry cucumber salad ready in no time. I use the Inspiralizer.
The longest part of the process is probably slicing the strawberries.
After you’ve massaged and chop the kale (Yes, massage it! I talk about the benefits of massaging kale here) and then slice the strawberries, all you’ve got left to do is combine everything with the spiralized (or diced) cucumbers and drizzle with the balsamic reduction.
You can use a store bought balsamic glaze, or make your own balsamic reduction. Just takes a little bit of time for the balsamic to reduce and thicken but if you’re in a pinch, super easy!
This strawberry cucumber salad is going to be perfect all summer long and especially for strawberry season!
- 1 bunch kale, chopped (about 2 cups)
- 1/2 TBSP avocado oil (or extra virgin olive oil)
- 2 TBS freshly chopped basil
- 1 TBS freshly chopped mint
- 2 medium cucumbers
- 1 pint fresh strawberries, sliced
- juice of 1 lime
- pinch of salt
- 2 TBS balsamic glaze1, or to taste
- Massage chopped kale with avocado or EVOO between fingers. Transfer to serving bowl or tray and sprinkle on chopped basil; set aside.
- Cut ends off of cucumbers to spiralize – I used blade B on the Inspiralizer. Alternatively you could dice cucumbers. Place on top of massaged kale and basil.
- Add sliced strawberries to tray or bowl and cover with juice of one lime and a sprinkle of salt. Gently toss if in bowl, or place on tray for more of a presentation.
- Drizzle on balsamic glaze before serving (see notes below for balsamic reduction).
- Recipe can be easily prepped the day before. Store in covered container in fridge until ready to serve.
1. To make balsamic reduction: In small saucepan over medium-high heat, bring 1 cup balsamic vinegar with 1 tablespoon of honey or maple syrup* to a boil. Option to omit sweetener. Reduce to simmer for 10-15 minutes, until balsamic has reduced to half and coats back of spoon. Store in jar in fridge about 3-4 weeks.