Adding fruits to salads should be just so legit in the summer so this time let me present to you my massaged kale salad with peaches! It’s a fruity kale salad – that is to say it’s heavy on the fruits. Fresh peaches are the stars of the show, together with juicy red grapes, as well as dried cranberries. Finish it off with a delicious vegan balsamico dressing made with agave syrup for the perfect summer kale salad.
A salad with texture, flavour and colour
Loading your salad with fresh fruits like peaches and grapes requires a salad base that can match all these flavours. A mild lettuce might not be the best choice in this case. First off, its flavour would definitely be pushed to the back, almost to disappear. The other factor to consider is texture. Soft leaves get mushy from the fruit juices and even if paired with fruits that are not passing much juice (think whole grapes), they tend to disappear – again – when biting into the various textures of the fruits.
The perfect salad base for a fruity salad is kale, better yet if paired with cabbage. Kale and red cabbage are two greens that have a lot of flavour and personality. Their combination is just perfect for a salad like this one:
- They are sturdy and crunchy
- They have distinctive flavours
- Last but not least they are vibrantly colourful.
Texture, flavour and colour are all equally important in a combination as rich as this fruity kale salad with peaches and grapes delivers!
Fruity kale salad ingredients
This loaded kale salad is made with a lot of delicious produce:
- red cabbage
- red grapes
- dried cranberries
- shaved almonds
All these ingredients are so diverse in terms of flavour and texture and this is what makes this summer kale salad so interesting!
What I like the most is the combination of both fresh and dried fruits, as well as the addition of the almonds. When I made this salad I really wanted to pack it with lots of different flavours and textures. Dried fruits and nuts are quite common especially in fall kale salads that are such Thanksgiving classics. I wanted to keep this but go for something different than classic apples when it comes to fresh fruits.
Got lots of peaches? Make these amaretti stuffed baked peaches.
The result is a salad that is a feast of flavours as well as colours. Make a big bowl of this fruity kale salad and place it in the middle of the table: it will sure work as a beautiful centerpiece during your dinner, while also serving as a fantastic salad!
Vegan balsamico dressing with agave syrup
I made this kale salad with peaches for the Midsummer celebrations here in Sweden. We were invited by friends at their lakeside cabin and every guest had to bring something. One requirement was to keep it vegetarian, and since I was unsure if there would be also vegans, I just decided to make a vegan dressing.
Balsamico vinegar is a delicious option for fruity salads! It really pairs wonderfully with the sweeter ingredients. If not paired with a sweetener, though, its acidic quality might just highlight the acidic tones of the fruits. This is why you want to blend it with some sort of sweetener, which for me is usually honey. To make this dressing vegan, I used agave syrup, instead.
For more vegetarian inspo with red cabbage how about these veggie empanadas?
To make this vegan balsamico dressing you need the following ingredients:
- balsamico vinegar
- agave syrup
- a pinch of salt.
All you have to do is combine the ingredients in a small jar and give it a good shake. That’s simple as that. Now that your dressing is done, it’s time to assemble the fruity kale salad.
How to make massaged kale salad with peaches
Chop the kale and place it in a bowl with cold water, giving it a gentle stir. Let any impurities fall to the bottom, then gently lift the kale leaves and transfer them to a salad spinner. By doing so, impurities will stay in the water. Skip this step if using packaged ready-to-eat chopped kale.
Transfer the kale to a bowl and add the olive oil. Proceed to massage the kale leaves for a couple of minutes. This has the double effect of tenderizing the kale and properly distributing the condiment through its ruffles.
Remove the outer leaves from the cabbage head and proceed to thinly slice it. Add the sliced red cabbage to the kale. Now your leaf base is ready to be topped with the fruits.
More kale salad? Try this pear and blue cheese kale salad!
Slice the peaches, removing the pit and skin. Chop them into small bits and set aside. Rinse and pat dry the grapes.
Add about 3/4 of the dried cranberries to the kale and red cabbage base, reserving some to add as decoration at the end.
Next, add the chopped peaches and grapes. Top with the sliced almonds and remaining dried cranberries.
Lastly, pour the vegan balsamico dressing over the salad and give it all a good stir to mix. If making this salad in advance, just keep the dressing in its jar and add it before taking the salad to the table.
Other salads with fruits
Too many fruits might not be everybody’s idea of a salad option. When you’re in for a salad-salad you may not want to end up with something that is 50% a fruit salad. Yet I have a thing for fruits used in salads, especially during the summer months.
You don’t always have to overdo it and have as many fruits as I did in this fruity kale salad. But the addition of a fruit, especially if it’s pairing well with the other ingredients, can really take your salad game to the next level. Here are some other salad recipes with fruits:
- Halloumi asparagus salad with strawberries and balsamico
- Fig and goat cheese salad with raspberry vinaigrette
- Pinapple and chicken salad with curry mayo dressing
Do you like fruits in your salad? What is your favourite salad recipe? Let me know in the comments! And if you’ve made this fruity kale salad with peaches don’t forget to let me know if you liked it. I was happy to get compliments at Midsummer for the salad I brought.
Kale salad with peaches
A summer kale salad loaded with fruits and dressed with a vegan vinaigrette. Fresh peaches and grapes are the fresh fruits in this salad, and they are paired with dried cranberries and sliced almonds. All this fruit galore tops a crunchy kale and red cabbage base.
- 150 g kale chopped
- 300 g red cabbage
- 80 g dried cranberries
- 280 g red grapes
- 3 peaches medium-sized
- 50 g sliced almonds
- 5 tbsp extravirgin olive oil
- 5 tbsp balsamico vinegar
- 5 tbsp agave syrup
- 1 tsp sriracha
- pinch of salt
Chop, rinse and drain both the kale and the red cabbage, keep them separated.
Add 5 tbsp olive oil to the kale and massage the leaves for 1-2 minutes.
Add the red cabbage to the kale and toss. Place mixture on the bottom of a serving bowl.
Add about 3/4 of the dried cranberries to the salad base, reserving some for top decoration.
Clean and pit the peaches, remove the skin. Slice them and cut each slice into smaller bits. Add to salad.
Rinse and dry the grapes, add to salad.
Top with sliced almonds and remaining dried cranberries.
In a small jar, combine the balsamico vinegar, agave syrup and a pinch of salt. Close the lid and shake vigorously to combine. Drizzle the dressing over the salad and toss to combine.
Choose the smallest grapes you can find, so you can keep them whole. I find that whole round red grapes make a nice visual effect. If you can't find such, any other type of grapes will do. Feel free to slice them if they are very large.