Strawberry Kale Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette

strawberries for blog .jpg

It finally feels like spring has arrived here in Berkeley.  I’m so excited to see the first batch of seasonal strawberries.

To celebrate, I’ve teamed up with a variety of talented bloggers and recipe developers for a strawberry party on Instagram, hosted by Square Meal Round Table. We’re sharing our favorite ways to use strawberries. You can check out everyone’s Instagram posts on Wednesday, April 25.  You can also type the hashtag #strawberriesarethejam.

I love strawberries in all sorts of sweet and savory foods. I first made this salad in cooking school at Bauman College in Berkeley.  I’d never tasted a kale salad this delicious.  Since then, I’ve adapted the recipe.  

You can change the fruit throughout seasons; apples or persimmons in fall,  blood oranges or pomegranates in winter, blueberries or strawberries in spring and summer.

It’s a light but hearty salad made out of dino or lacinto kale, shaved parmesan, red quinoa, sunflower seeds and red onions.  Kale is cut into chiffonade ribbons and massaged gently with salt and EVOO.  If you are new to chiffonade, here is a link on how to cut kale into thin long ribbons. 

The kale is left to sit for a bit to soften and later dressed with a sweet aged balsamic vinaigrette. The dressing makes a few cups so you can save the rest to enjoy for later.

Did you know that this salad dressing freezes well? Store in an airtight glass container or freezer safe bag. Defrost night before and stir well.





















Red onions are soaked in a combination of apple cider vinegar and water to mellow out the flavor of raw red onions.





















I hope you enjoy my version of strawberry kale salad.  This salad will make a nice addition to any spring or summer meal. It also makes a lovely light lunch. The leftovers will stay good in your fridge for a few days because kale leaves are strong and soften over time.

If you try this salad, I would love for you to share a picture on Instagram . Tag me @myberkeleykitchen or leave a comment below.

strawberries for blog

Strawberry Kale Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette

Free from: tree nuts, peanut, sesame and gluten. Vegan option( See Notes)

Serves 2


For salad: 

  • 1 teaspoon, salt, divided
  • 1/2 cup red onion, very thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 large bunch dino or lacinto kale or 2 small bunches, stems removed, chiffonade ( about 4 cups, tightly packed)
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, shaved
  • 1/2 cup red or tricolor quinoa, cooked or brown rice
  • 1/2 pound strawberries, hulled and thinly sliced
  • salt, pepper to taste

For balsamic vinaigrette: 

  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 small clove garlic, crushed
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

For quinoa:

  • 1 cup red or tricolor quinoa
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Add quinoa, water and salt to a medium size pot. Bring to a boil. Lower heat. Cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Turn off heat. Let sit for 5 minutes.

Remove quinoa, stir and spread evenly to cool on a sheet pan. Set aside or store in a container in the fridge to use later.

Place onion in a small bowl with apple cider vinegar and cover with water. Let soak for 10 minutes. Rinse and squeeze out extra liquid.

Prepare kale as directed above and place in a large bowl. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil and sprinkle with remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Massage the kale with your hands, kneading and squeezing until they begin to wilt and become soft. Set aside.

Add onions to kale. Toss to combine.

Whisk together balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, dijon mustard, garlic and olive oil, adding olive oil slowly in a drizzle until emulsified. Season with salt and pepper.

Add dressing to salad, just enough to coat. Toss with sunflower seeds, quinoa and parmesan. Toss in strawberries. Adjust with salt & pepper.

Serve and enjoy!


  • Make day of and store in refrigerator. Add strawberries right before serving.
  • Leftover quinoa freezes well up to a few months or prepare quinoa a few days in advance.
  • Switch out seasonal fruit throughout year. Apples or persimmons in the fall,  blood oranges or pomegranates in winter. Or use blueberries or strawberries in spring/summer.
  • salad is nut-free but substitute with nuts or seeds of choice.
  • Substitute parmesan with nutritional yeast for or leave out for vegan option


And for more strawberry inspiration, check out all the fabulous bloggers  who contributed recipes to the #strawberriesarethejam party.

Square Meal Round Table’s Roasted Balsamic Strawberry Pavlova

The Cooking of Joy’s Strawberry Matcha Cream Cheese Tart

This Healthy Table’s Strawberry Tahini Shortcake

Flours in Your Hair’s Strawberry Milk Donuts

The Wood and Spoon’s Strawberry Icebox Pie

Smart in the Kitchen’s Rustic Strawberry Galette

The Herb and Spoon’s Strawberry-Jam Filled Brioche Donuts

Better with Biscuit’s Strawberry Cobbler

My Kitchen Love’s Strawberry Rhubarb Tart

Sift and Simmer’s Rose Strawberry Hibiscus Mille Crepe Cake

What Great Grandma Ate’s No Bake Strawberry Cheesecake Bars (Paleo, Vegan)

A Modest Feast’s Greek Yogurt With Crispy Quinoa and Roasted Strawberries

Hola Jalapeno’s Strawberry Pink Peppercorn Margarita

Worthy Pause’s Strawberry-Basil Shrub Cocktail

Hot Dishing It Out’s Panna Cotta with Strawberry Jelly

Figs & Flour’s Shrimp Tacos with Strawberry Apricot Salsa

Pie Girl Bakes’ Strawberry Ginger Pie

Crumb Top Baking’s Strawberry Chia Jam Oat Bars

The Gourmandise School’s Strawberry Pistachio Salad

Tiny Kitchen Caper’s Strawberries and Cream Pound Cake

Cook Til Delicious’ Mini Chocolate Cake with Strawberry Ganache

Something New For Dinner’s Watermelon, Tomato and Strawberry Salad with Burrata

A Spicy Perspective’s Fresh Strawberry Yogurt Cake

Easy and Delish’s Strawberry Brigadeiros

Plays Well with Butter’s Strawberry Salad with Goat Cheese, Grilled Chicken, & Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette

Katherine in Brooklyn’s Roasted Strawberry Balsamic Ice Cream

Sugar Salt Magic’s Strawberry Mousse Tart

The Healthy Sins’ Coconut Flour Crepes Topped with Fresh Strawberries and Coconut Yogurt

Lemon Thyme and Ginger’s Strawberry Basil No Churn Ice Cream

Jessie Sheehan Bakes’ Strawberry Basil Turnovers

Bavette Meat & Provisions’ Pickled Green Strawberries

Rezel Kealoha’s Apple Cider Rose Poached Strawberries with Thyme Flowers

Made from Scratch’s Roasted Strawberry and Basil Ice Cream

Eat Cho Food’s Strawberry Basil Glazed Donuts

What’s Karen Cooking’s Strawberry Eton Mess

More Icing Than Cake’s Strawberry, Balsamic & Black Pepper Babka

Well Seasoned Studio’s Classic Vanilla Layer Cake with Mascarpone Buttercream and Fresh Strawberries

Farm & Coast Cookery’s Strawberry & Thyme Shortcake

Marianne Cooks’ Strawberry Madeleines

Clean Plate Club’s Mini Strawberry Bundt Cakes with Lemon Glaze

The Cinnaman’s Rose Hibiscus Strawberry Icebox Pie

Prickly Fresh’s Strawberry Burrata Kale Salad with Pistachio & Lemon Vinaigrette

Maren Ellingboe’s Angel Food Cake with Whipped Cream & Strawberries

Baking the Goods’ Mini Strawberry Lemon Cupcakes

Fufu’s Kitchen’s Vegan Strawberry Ice Cream Sandwiches

What Annie’s Eating’s Vegan Strawberry + Basil Ice Cream

Flotte Lotte’s Strawberry Ice Cream Sandwiches

Rumbly Tumbly’s Strawberry Scones

A Small Kitchen in Genoa’s Italian Riviera Strawberries Salad

Cooking with Cocktail Ring’s Basil Balsamic Strawberry Shortcake

Reencontrándome con la Cocina’s Chocolate Meringue with White Chocolate Mousse and Strawberries

Le Petite Eats’ Strawberry Orange Blossom Tartlets

Just Date Syrup’s Strawberry Date Syrup Oat Crumble

Well Fed Soul’s Strawberry Almond Mascarpone Cake

Food Solutions’ Strawberry Soup (Savory and Sweet)

Champagne and Cookies’ Strawberry & Sesame Whole Wheat Pop Tarts with Strawberry Tahini Glaze

Annie Campbell’s Strawberry Pavlova

Blossom to Stem’s Mezcal Lime Strawberry Pavlova

Cosette’s Kitchen’s Strawberry Shortcake

Ful-Filled’s Lilac Sugar Strawberry Shortcakes with Greek Yogurt Whipped Cream

Babby Girl Yum’s Strawberry Spinach Almond Salad

An Amazing Appetite’s Vanilla Strawberry Tart

Cocoa and Salt’s Strawberry Pistachio Tart

Frosting and Fettuccine’s Strawberry Basil Layer Cake with Strawberry Simple Syrup

No More Mr. Nice Pie’s Fresh Strawberry Pie








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