red white and blue summer salad recipe
Simple Recipes

Summer Salad Recipe | 4th of July Kale Salad

We weren’t huge fans of kale in a salad until this year. I learned the secret! Just.ingredients on Instagram did a story recently on how to make kale a bit softer and easier to chew. The secret? Massage your kale. Now I know that sounds like the weirdest thing in the world. My husband laughed out loud when I told him about it. But it makes for the best summer salad recipe that even my kids devoured.

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What’s in this kale summer salad recipe?

Now I’ll admit that the ingredients in this recipe aren’t ones that I always have on hand (criteria for most of my recipes). But after seeing Karalynne’s tip, I needed some kale. Now that I’ve discovered the secret, I may have to keep kale on hand more often. Strawberries and blueberries are reasonably priced in the summer, so I grabbed some of those. Almonds and cheese, on the other hand. Those I always have. Poppyseed dressing is a pretty regular condiment in our fridge as well.

The process

Prepare the kale

To make this summer salad recipe, start with your kale. First, remove the leaves from the stem. I do this by simply holding the bottom of the stem in my right hand, placing my left fingers at the bottom of the first leaves, and pulling upward. Quick and easy. Then, chop your kale into bite-sized pieces. Put it in a bowl and sprinkle with a little lemon juice. Massage the kale (see video below) for 2-4 minutes. As you massage, you’ll see it turn a brighter green. This is a great sign! Now let it rest for a few minutes.


While you wait for your kale to rest, chop up the rest of your ingredients. I usually cut my spinach leaves in half so they fit better in little mouths. Slice your strawberries and cut the slices in half if desired. If your cheese isn’t grated, now is a good time to do that too!


Add the spinach, blueberries, strawberries, almond slices, and cheese to the bowl with the kale. Use tongs to mix it all up. Add the poppyseed dressing to taste and use the tongs to mix it in. Now devour it because it’s so good.

Kale Summer Salad Recipe

A delicious salad that makes for a beautiful 4th of July side dish!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time0 mins
Total Time15 mins
Course: Salad
Cuisine: American
Servings: 8


  • 3 leaves kale 2-3 cups
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 1/2 cup blueberries can add more to preference
  • 1/2 cup sliced strawberries can add more to preference
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/4 cup grated cheese smoked provolone, swiss, or fresh parmesan
  • 1/4-1/2 cup poppyseed dressing to taste


  • Remove kale leaves from stems and chop in to bite sized pieces. Place in large bowl and sprinkle with lemon juice.
  • Massage kale by repeatedly grabbing and releasing for 2-4 minutes.
  • Chop spinach into bite-sized pieces, slice strawberries, grate cheese.
  • Add spinach, strawberries, blueberries, almonds, and cheese to kale. Mix with tongs.
  • Top with poppyseed dressing and mix with tongs until salad is evenly coated.
  • Serve immediately.

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