Summer Kale Salad with nectarines and fresh mozzarella
This salad is the latest addition to my growing list of kale salads. Perfect this time of year with sweet summer nectarines and fresh mozzarella with a light and refreshing lemony white balsamic vinaigrette.
Summer Kale Salad
You may be saying to yourself when will this trend of kale salads and kale everything ever end, but if you ask me the answer would be NEVER because I really do LOVE kale, I don’t just eat it ’cause it’s good for me, I truly enjoy it. Kale salads show up weekly at my dinner table and then again for lunch when I have leftovers (and I always hope for leftovers!). I hope you’ll find as much joy in this simple and delicious salad as we do.
This version was inspired by a pizza I recently enjoyed on a day trip to Princeton, NJ, where we were touring the university with Skyler (she’s a brilliant and very hard working student with high aspirations, fingers crossed!), honestly I hope she gets accepted just so we can go back for more pizza 🙂.
Skyler & I with one of the many Princeton tigers on campus
Colin at his namesake Jones Hall
an example of the beautiful Princeton architecture
We were so happy when we walked into Jules Thin Crust. They had an array of specialty pizzas on display for us to choose from and our smiles just grew when we (Skyler & I) saw about 10 different varieties of veggie pizzas alongside an array of meat topped delicacies for Colin’s enjoyment. Another unique thing about their pizzas was that they were all made rectangular with very thin crusts, which I think is more commonly found in Italy but not as much in these parts. Even better several options were made with whole grain crusts.
Our selections from Jules Thin Crust Pizza
Skyler and I chose four different pizzas to share, but by far our favorite was the kale pizza topped with apples, mandarin oranges and sliced red onion with creamy mozzarella as the base between the crust and greens, which were mixed with a delicious lemony vinaigrette.
My lemony white balsamic vinaigrette
My mind immediately started thinking about how I could turn this into a salad in my own kitchen. I decided to make my version with sweet and juicy summer nectarines in place of the apples and oranges. I kept the mozzarella, choosing a silky soft fresh mozzarella and diced it into bite size pieces. But I left off the onions just because they’re not working for me now, but you could definitely throw in some thinly sliced reds or even shallots if you like. I made a simple lemony white vinaigrette and then tossed in some slivered almonds just for fun and a little crunch. Skyler declared the salad as a new style caprese. Whatever you want to call it, I call it delicious!
Big bunch of Kale – I like curly kale, but Tuscan/Dinosaur kale works great too – stems removed
1 large nectarine – skin on, diced in bite size pieces
4 ounces fresh mozzarella – diced in bite size pieces – leave out for vegan/dairy free
2-3 Tablespoons slivered almonds
3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil or Avocado Oil
1 Tablespoon lemon juice – freshly squeezed!
2 Tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
A few chopped chives or a little thinly sliced red onion
Pinch of red pepper flakes – if you like
Remove the stems from the kale. If using curly kale just tear apart into bite size pieces, if using Tuscan kale roll up the leaves and thinly slice. Add the prepared kale into a salad spinner or large bowl of water and give it a few good squeezes, drain and wash again if necessary (note that squeezing the kale while washing it will help to start tenderizing the leaves, I prefer this method to start then simply massaging dressing into the kale). Add the washed and dried kale into a large bowl.
Mix up the dressing and then toss into the kale and mix in thoroughly to cover all the leaves. If time permits, let the dressed kale hang out for 20-30 minutes before proceeding.
Add in the remaining salad ingredients; nectarine, mozzarella, almonds then give a final toss. Serve and enjoy!
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My name is Jen and I never met a recipe I didn’t want to change. I view recipes as inspirational guidelines, not rules to follow. I hope you find some delicious healthy recipes that inspire you to cook and eat and feel free to change at will. If you enjoy what you see, please feel free to subscribe, you’ll receive recipes as my life and time permits and I promise not to fill your inbox or your tummies with any junk. Enjoy!