If I can give two pieces of advice for salads, I would first tell you to always include some fresh fruit. Blueberries, mandarin oranges, strawberries — honestly, just about any fruit works. It’s a juicy pop of unexpected flavor that goes really well with the texture of leafy greens. Fruits and veggies are good friends like that.
My second piece of advice is to always toast your walnuts. Okay, maybe not every single salad requires it, but most gain something. You’ll never be disappointed. Toasting improves the texture, so the nuts stay crispier, longer in the middle of all that lettuce and dressing. And this little trick doesn’t cost anything. Just buy plain old walnuts and throw them in the toaster oven (or oven) for 10 minutes on 350ºF, and you have just seriously upgraded to restaurant quality. No oil needed for roasting.
Pine nuts will be done around 5 minutes. Almonds also take less time — about 8 minutes. Stick with about 10-12 for walnuts or pecans, and for hazelnuts, go as long as 14 minutes. Nuts are done when they’re slightly darker brown — not burned — and the skin easily flakes off (if present).
Try toasted nuts with this delicious fruity summer salad and see the difference for yourself.
Triple berry kale walnut salad
Serves 1 meal-sized salad
- 2 1/2 cups of kale, washed, stems removed
- 1/4 cup blueberries, washed
- 1/4 cup blackberries, washed
- A few slices of a Honeycrisp apple, washed and diced
- 1/4 cup red raspberries, washed
- 1/4 walnuts, toasted, washed
- 2-3 tbsp of raspberry vinaigrette salad dressing (I like Annie’s Homegrown or Bolt Farms organic)
- Goat cheese crumbles (optional)
- Toss all ingredients into a large, single serve salad bowl.
- Drizzle with salad dressing, and enjoy!