It’s salad season! Huzzah.
Actually, if I am being COMPLETELY honest, the last thing I want to do this time of year is cook and this recipe has been a long time coming because I usually make it once a week every week during the summer. It has all my fav things and comes together in 30 minutes with MINIMAL cooking.
So who’s with me?! Let’s not cook together!
If you need an easy 4th of July salad to whip together, then I have just thing for you. The 4th always seems to sneak up on us so it is imperative for us to plan ahead, if you know what I am saying.
This is flavorful, sweet and seasonal to the point where you’ll find yourself craving it in December. It’s great for lunch but fantastic for a cookout too! You may find yourself eating the leftovers straight out of the fridge, FYI.
Because I’ve totally done it… it is not pretty!
If you couldn’t tell, I just love salads that warrant eating them straight out of the fridge… maybe late night in your pajamas. It is part of my all out effort to make eating salad sexy again. Am I doing a good job? Goodness, I hope so.
At least I don’t think salads are too high maintenance
I love using quinoa for this salad, but feel free to use whatever grains you have on hand. Farro could be an excellent replacement or even some Israeli couscous. The possibilities are honestly endless and make it your own. Heck, you could mix all three grains too!
Basically, you cook up some quinoa, then toss the hot grains (although technically quinoa is a seed. Go figure) with some kale and lemon zest to wilt it. While the quinoa is cooking you make the simplest but most insanely delicious lemon vinaigrette. Then you dress the salad, add strawberries, pistachios, and ALL THE CHEESE. Because cheese is a non negotiable here.
You will absolutely faint of happiness. This salad might just steal the show of your next BBQ… which would be a first but let’s go with it!
Yields 2-4 servings
15 minPrep Time
15 minCook Time
30 minTotal Time
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 clove garlic, grated
- salt + pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cups cooked quinoa
- 2 cups chopped kale (around 1 bunch)
- zest of 1 lemon
- 2 cups strawberries, hulled and cut into quarters
- 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 2-3 stalks mint, chopped
- 1/4 cup chopped roasted and salted pistachios
Cook the quinoa according to the directions. For 2 cups cooked quinoa, it's usually around 3/4 of a cup dried. Make sure to rinse it to avoid it tasting "soapy." Once cooked, allow to cool until slightly warmed.
For the dressing, whisk all of the ingredients except for the oil together until well combined. Stream in the oil until the entire mixture is emulsified.
For the salad, add chopped kale into a large bowl. Season kale with sea salt, then "scrunch" the kale with your hands. Place slightly warmed quinoa on top of the kale and add lemon zest and about 1/2 of the dressing. Toss until combined. Stir in strawberries, feta, and some of the mint, seasoning with salt and pepper. Before serving, sprinkle pistachios and remaining mint on top. Serve with remaining dressing. EAT.
This salad is great to make ahead of time. Just don't add strawberries and pistachios until the last minute (they do not store so well).