Kale and cucumber salad with toasted almonds – a summer into fall salad

I planted kale this spring and my plants are still growing really well. I just keep snipping leaves off every now and then and the kale keeps producing. I also have two prolific cucumber plants that give me about 5 cucumbers every day. Normally I think of kale as a fall crop, but since we’ve had a relatively mild summer, it’s been doing well and season and will probably make it through the fall. We’re also already having cooler nights that are starting to feel like fall. On a particularly cool night, I felt like having a salad that kind of felt like fall, but incorporated the summer ingredients I still have on hand like cucumbers and lettuce. Thus, I made this salad that to me feels like summer into fall.IMG_9705

My favorite part about this salad is the toasted almonds. I put them in while they are still warm and add a toasty crunch. Paired with the sweetness of the dried cranberries and the tang of the shallot – what a combination!

I prefer dino kale to curly kale, so I use that variety but you could use curly or red Russian kale too. You could also add some grilled shrimp, chicken or toasted chickpeas to make this a main dinner salad or just serve it as a side.

Kale and cucumber salad with toasted almonds – a summer into fall salad

Serves: 4 as a side 
Preptime: 15 minutes

For the salad:

1 small bunch of dino kale, cut into small strips
1 small head lettuce (I use speckled romaine), chopped
1 large cucumber, diced
1 small shallot, sliced
1 handful of almonds
1 handful of dried cranberries

For the dressing:

2 tbsp olive oil
1tbsp flax seed oil
1 1/2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp dijon mustard
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
Salt and pepper

Put the almonds in a toaster oven and toast for about 7-10 minutes or until they look dark and toasted. Transfer to a cutting board and do a rough chop.

Put the shredded kale in a salad bowl and massage with your hands for about 30 seconds. Add the chopped lettuce, cucumber, shallots, almonds and cranberries.

Combine all the ingredients for the dressing a bowl and whisk vigorously until well blended.

Add the dressing and toss the salad.

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