Massaged kale salad with cherries, pecans and Parmesan is perfect for summertime when fresh cherries are in season! It’s easy to make and great for dinner, BBQs, picnics and parties!
Happy first official day of summer!
And also, happy anniversary to my parents! They got married today, the longest day of the year, and I've always thought that was so romantic. 💕
We are FULL into summer mode in our house and loving every bit of it! It's going to be scorching hot here this weekend, so I'm planning some fun indoor activities with the kids but we'll also head to the pool to cool off. ☀️💦
So, if you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen that I was not so patiently waiting for fresh cherries to arrive here in N.C.
Partly, yes, I was eager to make and photograph this massaged kale salad with cherries for you. (More on that soon.)
And also excited to then proceed to make ALL the things with fresh cherries, like my wild rice salad with fresh cherries, pecans and goat cheese and several other recipes that will be coming your way soon.
Plus, we love just snacking on them! So juicy! So sweet! So perfectly summer! 🍒❤️
But this salad. Oh….
I adore a raw massaged kale salad (it all started with my citrus kale salad and it hasn’t stopped yet) and I love all the fresh summer vibes in this one from the sweet fresh cherries.
It also features crunchy, nutty pecans, rich Parmesan cheese and sweet balsamic vinegar to really round out the flavors.
And we ALL love it!
The first time I made it last year, my then 6-year-old daughter M got so excited. (I think it was the colors but the girl loves her some salad! #proudmama)
She ate some with dinner and then wanted me to pack it for her lunch the next day. ❤️
I’m pretty sure you are gonna love it too!
A few notes on this massaged kale salad with cherries:
- Raw kale is used for this recipe, but it’s massaged with olive oil and vinegar and left to sit for a half hour or so, and that’s what softens it so it’s not bitter.
- I use fresh sweet cherries (the dark red kind) but you could substitute another variety if you prefer.
- I use chopped pecans here but you could substitute walnuts or another nut.
- If you don’t have any maple syrup, you could use honey here to help sweeten up the dressing.
- The grated Parmesan cheese adds a nice, rich nutty flavor, but you can leave it off for a dairy-free salad. Or you could try this salad with some crumbled goat cheese or feta instead.
Happy official start to summer! I hope yours includes lots of yummy salads!
P.S. Check out these other delicious kale salads:
- Kale quinoa salad (Family Food on the Table)
- Farro, kale and strawberry salad with goat cheese (Family Food on the Table)
- Chicken apple bacon kale salad (Neighbor Food)
- Kale persimmon salad (Cooking LSL)
- Kale apple salad with cheddar and pecans (Family Food on the Table)
- 6 cups chopped kale (raw)
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, divided
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- 1 cup fresh cherries, pitted and roughly chopped
- ½ cup pecans, roughly chopped
- ⅓ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Place chopped kale in a large bowl and drizzle with 1 tablespoon each of the olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Use your fingers to massage the oil and vinegar into the kale, rubbing and mixing until all the pieces are coated. Let sit for 30 minutes to soften the kale.
- Meanwhile, prep your cherries, pecans and Parmesan cheese.
- Once the kale is softened, add the remaining tablespoon each of olive oil and balsamic vinegar and add the lemon juice and maple syrup. Stir well to combine and season with salt and black pepper.
- Add the cherries, pecans and Parmesan cheese to the kale and stir to combine. Serve immediately.
I use fresh sweet cherries (the dark red kind) but you could substitute another variety if you prefer.
I use chopped pecans here but you could substitute walnuts or another nut.
If you don’t have any maple syrup, you could use honey here instead to help sweeten up the dressing.
The grated Parmesan cheese adds a nice rich nutty flavor, but you can leave it off for a dairy-free salad. Or you could try this salad with some crumbled goat cheese or feta instead.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 189Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 5mgSodium: 228mgCarbohydrates: 17gFiber: 4gSugar: 8gProtein: 5g