I know you don’t need me to teach you how to make a Baby Kale Strawberry Salad. There’s no recipe needed. Simply put some kale (as much or as little as you like) on a plate, then slice a few strawberries on top. You can add “extras” if you like. I did. I chose almonds and cucumbers, as well as a rosemary balsamic vinaigrette. You could make this baby kale salad and vinaigrette with your eyes closed I know you could.
So why did I post this? The world doesn’t really need another baby kale salad right now. Baby kale is so trendy it’s positively boring. Strawberries are super seasonal and impossible to resist. We’re all trying desperately to use up the whole flats we convince ourselves we can’t live without this time of year. So why this kale strawberry salad?
Well, baby kale is just the muse for the excuse I’m using to talk about a personal failing of mine. This is a deep dark secret. Something I should probably keep to myself. Because the crowd I run with might never understand what I’m about to say.
You see, I’m a crappy gardener. I don’t mean my yard is ugly. I actually have a beautiful yard with a pretty garden with lots of nice plants. But when it comes to vegetable gardening. Well, I suck. Which is so disappointing to me. I spent a lot of years trying to be a good vegetable gardener. I read books. I experimented. I planted. I hoped. I prayed. But my harvest was always a disappointment. I tried artichokes. My artichoke plant never grew taller than my knee, and then it just disappeared. I suspect the gardeners put it out of its misery, but I was too ashamed to ask.
Most famously (for years and years) I tried to grow tomatoes. I tried them in the ground, but they faltered. Not enough sun I thought. So the next year I bought giant pots and put them on furniture dollies so I could roll them around the patio in an attempt to keep them in the sun. I had a schedule and everything. I’d cut lunch dates short so I could rush home and roll my plants around the backyard. We got a wireless internet connection so I could “work” closer to my babies– keeping one eye on the computer screen and one eye on the sun.
This plan almost worked. I had quite a crop of heirlooms going– only to discover that squirrels love tomatoes. They don’t even mind eating them a day or two before they are perfectly ripe. They also get up very early and like a big a breakfast. There was almost no beating them, no matter what time I set my alarm. I did get two or three nice tomatoes that year however. They were delicious. I figure they cost me $147 each.
This year I thought I’d try something the squirrels wouldn’t eat. I thought I’d try kale. Squirrels don’t eat leafy greens (do they?). Well we’ll never know because this baby kale strawberry salad amounts to my entire harvest. The thing about baby kale is it’s too young to make more baby kale. I shoulda known that… GREG
Makes you wonder what superior power makes one a good gardener vs. a lousy one? We managed to be quite successful even with possums and rats who quickly sniffed out our smorgasbord and snails and slugs who find no leaf distasteful. Yet, with multiple raised redwood beds (whose DIY construction resulted in a visit to the emergency room), carloads of amended soil, and much toiling, our garden-to-table fare was costly compared to a trip to the FM or a delivered CSA box. God Bless the farmers of the world.
Just saw kale salad with mango, and now with strawberry. I wasn’t creative enough when I make something with kale. I gotta try kale salad with fruits! Love this idea!
Oh my goodness.…the squirrels got to my tomatoes and my pumpkins last year and I was so mad! I had lots of nice tomatoes that would have been just lovely in, as you said, a day or two. I’m going for vegetable garden round 2 this year…here’s hoping! Love the look of this salad, even if baby kale is trendy and “boring”. 🙂
Strawberries are still a few weeks away here, but I am finding baby kale in the markets. Won’t be long before I’ll be making this treat.
Kale Kale the gangs all here. I had to. I just did a strawberry arugula. You and me, channeling. I can grow tomatoes, because we have no squirrels, but I put strips of tin foil and yes I look like trailer trash, but I have lots of tomaters.
Me, too, lousy gardener. Makes you really appreciate what farmers do, right?
Don’t worry, Greg, I have the black thumb of death for plants too. I can kill the most sturdy plants. Well, except mint, that shit is all over the yard.
This salad sounds great, it reminds me of one our houseguests made two weeks ago when they were here for the blogger get together. The idea of kale and strawberry seemed weird to me but it really worked great.
I feel your pain, my mom was a prolific gardener who tried to teach me, but even when I follow plant care instructions to a T, my plants always die.
Congrats on getting a salad out of the harvest though, it’s more than I’ve ever managed!
I had a large plot in the community garden a block from here last year. Let’s just say I am now going to the farmers market. As for the salad, I only just discovered massaged kale sald and have not come across kale of the infant kind…yet.
so pretty… can’t be good at everything, that is what farmer’s market is for
Squirrels are a really tough pest to deal with when you have a vegetable garden. I’m thinking that if you want to grow tomatoes and keep them away from the squirrels you might try growing a few tomato varieties that perform well in hanging baskets… If that does not work then maybe think about adopting a cat :). Have a great weekend Greg!
I am the worst, worst gardener ever as well… i tried! Spent the money and then got burned out on my mealy tomatoes…
We have our garden in the back yard and it’s fenced, so we’re not bothered with rabbits or squirrels. This time of year, though, we do see many more deer closer to town. I suppose they come closer for the greener grass and whatever gardens they can get into. Looks like a lovely salad, even if it’s the only one.
Greg, this looks so lovely! I presume I would be a crappy gardener, but live in an apartment and haven’t tried. I can’t wait to have my own veggies one day!
what a beautiful and super seasonal salad. the vinaigrette sounds delightful! (pardon the quick note & lack of capitalization — extreme editing due to shoulder surgery!)
LOVE kale and the baby kale is extra special. Digging your vinaigrette! Happy Saturday!
I’m with you re the vegetable gardening. I only grow herbs and, of course, the citrus trees pretty much take care of themselves. Our n’hood is famous for tomato vine rot…Off to the farmers market, right?