Spring Tomato & Kale Salad

I love tomatoes! One of the things I love most about spring and summer is the abundance of fresh tomatoes available. I have two tomato plants growing in my urban garden and have had as many as 6 different varieties of tomato plants growing in a season. I love how versatile tomatoes are in the kitchen. You can roast them, sun-dry them, fry them, bake them, sautée them, or eat them fresh with a dash of salt. The possibilities are endless.

However, tomatoes aren’t just tasty, they’re packed with tons of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that make them a wellness powerhouse.

Here are some of the health benefits you can reap by eating tomatoes: 

  • Tomatoes protect heart health because they are a rich source of lycopene, a powerful antioxidant touted for its ability to reduce heart disease risk factors.
  • The lycopene in tomatoes also helps improve vision health.
  • Tomatoes boost digestive health.
  • Tomatoes help with diabetes management.
  • Tomatoes cooked in olive oil have been shown to improve skin health by boosting collagen production.
  • The lycopene in tomatoes has also been linked to lower risk of prostate, lung, ovarian, and stomach cancers.
Source: Healthline:  7 Health Benefits of Tomatoes

Now that we’ve learned a little more about why tomatoes are so good for us, get into this tasty salad that’s a hit at all my family dinners!

What You’ll Need:

  • Ripe and Juicy Cherry or Grape tomatoes
  • 1 shallot
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 green onions (scallions)
  • Fresh mint, basil and Italian (flat-leaf) parsley
  • Sea or kosher salt
  • Cracked black pepper
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Red wine or white balsamic vinegar
  • Chopped Tuscan kale (also known as Lacinato or Dinosaur kale)
  • 1 large lemon
  • Feta cheese (optional)

What to Do: 

Prep the Ingredients:

  • Rinse and drain kale and tomatoes
  • Slice tomatoes in half
  • Thinly chop green onions
  • Finely dice shallot
  • Finely chop garlic
  • Rough chop the herbs (mint, basil & parsley)

Prepare the tomato salad topping:

  • Combine tomatoes, green onions, shallot, garlic, and herbs in a medium mixing bowl.
  • Season with salt and black pepper to taste
  • Add 1-2 Tbsp. of extra virgin olive oil (just enough to coat the tomato salad mixture)
  • Add vinegar 3-4 Tbsp of red wine or white balsamic vinegar (this will form a nice vinaigrette)
  • Toss ingredients together until well mixed and cover the mixing bowl and set aside. I let my tomato salad “marinate” for a couple of hours before serving.

Prepare the kale: (Do this right before serving)

  • Add kale to large serving bowl
  • Squeeze fresh lemon over the kale
  • Add 1 Tbsp of olive oil
  • Season kale with sea salt & cracked black pepper
  • Toss kale until all leaves are coated

Plate the salad:

Add the tomato salad on top of the kale & serve! Top with feta cheese if desired. Enjoy! Bon appétit!

 

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