Dishing Up the Dirt

Kale, Cherry & Avocado Salad with Lemon-Poppy Seed Dressing

Nothing hits the spot on a 95 degree day quite like this simple and refreshing kale salad. Honestly, I’ve been too hot, sweaty and cranky to turn on my oven and this salad is just what the doctor ordered.

We’ve been putting in extremely long days at the farm and literally every single bone in our bodies aches. I joke that we are too young to feel so damn old, but it’s the truth. Most days I could use the assistance of a walker to get around. We aren’t looking good I tell ya!

We may feel physically broken but at least we eat well. With the abundance of kale growing in the fields I think “quickie” kale salads are going to be an ongoing trend for weeknight dinners when turning the oven on isn’t an option.

We harvest hundreds of bunches of kale each week to supply our CSA members, farmers markets and restaurant accounts. To be honest, I’m so tired of looking at this leafy green that I didn’t think I would crave it for the rest of the summer. As it turns out, I was wrong! This salad has everything going for it. It’s light, refreshing, sweet and tangy.  I can’t get enough of the “pop” from the poppy seeds either! The fresh and local cherries were a huge hit too. One of our lovely CSA members gifted us with a few pounds of fresh cherries from her farm and we’ve been gobbling them up all week.  Have I mentioned before how grateful we are for our CSA members? They are the best!

If it happens to be hot and miserable where you live too I think this salad will be your savior. The lemon-poppy seed dressing is so stinking good you could drink it with a straw. However, instead of doing that I would recommend pouring yourself a glass of crisp white wine, grabbing a fork and digging into this refreshing meal. Cheers!

Kale, Cherry & Avocado Salad With Lemon-Poppy Seed Dressing

Prep Time: 15 minutes    Cook Time: 0 minutes    Serves: 4

For the Salad:
  • 6 cups kale, tough stems removed and chopped into bite size pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh cherries, pitted and chopped
  • 1 avocado, chopped
  • 1/2 of a small red onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
  • Pinch of fine sea salt and pepper
For the Dressing:
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, from about 2 large lemons
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • 1 teaspoon dijon style mustard
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons poppy seeds
  • pinch of salt and pepper


  1. Prepare the dressing by combing all the ingredients and placing in a mason jar secured with a lid and shaking until smooth. You can also use and immersion blender. Taste test and adjust seasonings as needed. Set aside.
  2. Place the chopped kale in a large salad bowl. Drizzle with half the dressing. Massage the dressing into the kale leaves until they become slightly tender. This should only take a minute.
  3. Add the rest of the salad ingredients and if needed, add more dressing a little at a time. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.


* Use this recipe as a guide *Adjust measurements and ingredients as necessary *The dressing will last in the fridge for up to a week

Leave a Reply

19 thoughts on “Kale, Cherry & Avocado Salad with Lemon-Poppy Seed Dressing

  1. That sounds awesome! Love the flavors. I will definitely save this for the kale surpluses of my near future. 🙂

    1. Andrea says:

      Awesome! I hope you enjoy this salad as much as we do 🙂

  2. I was JUST looking for a kale and cherry recipe last night to bring to a potluck today but had no luck….definitely making this just for myself ASAP!!

    1. Andrea says:

      You go girl! Enjoy!!!

  3. I think I’ve said it before, but I am continually impressed by your ability to put together these amazing meals given your long days working and the state of exhaustion you must be in at the end of each day. I love a good kale salad and the cherry and avocado combination in this one looks delicious!

    1. Andrea says:

      Thank you! I hope you give this a whirl. We love it!!!

  4. Beautiful salad my dear! I love the combo of fresh cherries and creamy avocado. Yum!

  5. I’ve never made homemade poppy seed dressing before, and you totally have me inspired! I know what you mean about the heat making you cranky… but jeez, look at all those gorgeous bunches of kale! Just what the doctor ordered indeed 🙂

    1. Andrea says:

      Thanks lady! And yes, homemade lemon poppy seed dressing is the best! You need to give it a try!!!

  6. francesca says:

    That bunch of kale is as big as you are! *pat on the back*

    1. Andrea says:

      Haha!! Thank you!!

  7. Allison says:

    Look at all of those greens! You are living the dream! It must be awesome to pick kale and eat it straight away. So amazing. This salad looks perfect for summer and I love that zippy dressing. Yum!

    1. Andrea says:

      The dressing is addicting and I’ve been whipping up batches weekly. I hope you give this a whirl!

  8. Julia says:

    UGH this looks amazing!!!! I love fruit and avocado in every salad ever and have yet to make a salad with cherries this year. That lemon poppy seed dressing is calling my name. Absolutely gorgeous, lady!!

  9. Brooke says:

    I have all the ingredients on hand for this, and the only kind of “pop” I like to hear on the 4th of July is that of poppyseed dressing (or Champagne!), so I’m looking forward to enjoying this…while our neighborhood goes crazy with fireworks.

  10. Andrea, so glad you enjoyed the cherries from our Orchard and thanks for making them “Famous,” on your blog. I am trying out this salad today with the kale we received yesterday!!! Thank you again for being a farmer. We fully back you guys and are grateful for your hard work. It is really such a gift to have fresh veggies right here in our town.

    1. Andrea says:

      you guys rule!!! we are so proud to be neighbors with you. Our next field trip is out to your farm and we cannot wait!!! XOXO

  11. Brooke says:

    I have now made this salad three times in two weeks- I can’t get enough! I didn’t have kale last time, so I can attest yo the fact that it also tastes divine with mixed greens.

    1. Andrea says:

      Awesome! Glad you’re loving it too! You can never go wrong with mixed greens!

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