This weekend, I spent the most lovely morning in the garden.

But not just any garden.

It was pretty much the coolest thing ever.   As is the CSA (community supported agriculture) program that I’m a part of — New Roots For Refugees.

I have been hearing about her garden for months and months, as we have been working on vegetable and herb vocabulary and talking about all of the various seeds she has been planing in the greenhouse.  She was finally able to actually plant the garden outside in the past month or so, and sent me a few proud texts of her rows upon rows of starters.  And by now, the middle of May, it has turned into a huge, green, vibrant garden!!

Even more cool?  Having her walk me all over the vast acreage of the training farm and tell me the names of other refugee farmers in the program and where they have come from.  Most are from Asia and Africa, while many spent time in refugee camps in other countries before coming to the United states

their crops are definitely a big part of my summer produce, including the first little surprise that Si Si sent home with me this weekend — fresh kale.

I had actually made this salad a few weeks ago  (I’m in a rare season of being “ahead” with recipes, which probably won’t last long.) I instantly hit up my carton of strawberries in the fridge to make another batch.

Because this salad is crazy good.

It’s actually just a slight riff on my Avocado Strawberry Spinach Salad that has been so popular on the blog for a few years.  But I have enjoyed replacing the spinach with kale recently (especially baby kale, which I highly recommend).  And I also swapped out blue cheese for goat cheese (although you can use any kind of soft cheese, or leave it out or sprinkle on some nutritional yeast if you’re vegan) and toasted pecans for almonds.

Instead of the typical poppyseed dressing, I made a white balsamic vinaigrette made with one of my new favorite ingredients — white balsamic vinegar!  I only just discovered the stuff this past year, and am obsessed with it on salads.  It has all of the great balsamic flavor I love, but it doesn’t turn your whole salad brown.  That said, though, the brown (traditional) balsamic vinegar totally works too.

But I had to include the avocado again.  Sorry — it’s just a “must” nowadays with salads whenever strawberries are involved.  I’m crazy about the combination, and it happens to be lovely and colorful as well.

Anyway, it’s a lovely and fresh salad that just sings of summer.  And when made with kale grown by my friend?  Well, I don’t know if it gets any better than that.

I hope you all enjoy it!  thanks :)

This strawberry kale salad is fresh and delicious and made with a simple white balsamic vinaigrette.


6 cups fresh baby kale (*or see note below for using other kinds of kale)
1 pint strawberries, hulled and sliced
1-2 avocados, peeled, pitted and diced
4 ounces crumbled goat cheese (or other soft cheese)
1/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted

half a small red onion, thinly sliced
white balsamic vinaigrette (recipe below)
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
3-4 tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly-cracked black pepper
Toss all ingredients together with your desired amount of dressing until combined. Serve immediately.

Whisk all ingredients together until combined.

*If you choose to use traditional kale, pour an extra few teaspoons of oil onto the greens first and massage it into them with your hands for 1 minute to soften.

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