The Big Summer Salad

Posted by Donna-Marie Pye on




  • 2 cobs corn, grilled and kernels removed
  • 2  heirloom tomatoes (red and yellow ideal), cored and cut into wedges
  • 1 lb nectarines, cored and cut into wedges (about 3)
  • 1 bunch Tuscan kale, stem removed and sliced thinly
  • 1 small red onion, cut into a small dice
  • 9 oz fresh mozzarella or bocconcini balls, torn into small pieces

Herb Vinaigrette:

  • 1 medium garlic clove, minced
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 3 tbsp chopped fresh herbs, such as flat-leaf parsley, chives, basil and dill
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Rustic Croutons

  • 1 small rustic loaf of bread, torn into 1" pieces
  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • Sea/kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • To prepare croutons:Preheat oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. To a large bowl, add all ingredients and toss well to evenly distribute oil and seasonings over bread. Spread bread over prepared baking sheet and transfer to oven. Bake until bread is golden brown, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes.
  • To prepare herb vinaigrette:To a medium bowl, whisk together garlic, shallot, lemon zest, juice, vinegar, Dijon and herbs. Whisking vigorously, drizzle in oil. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Set aside.
  • To a large mixing bowl add salad ingredients and drizzle with vinaigrette. Gently toss and transfer to a serving platter. Serve immediately.

Tips For Prepping Kale

There are two ways you can remove the stems. My favourite way is with a chef’s knife. But if you’re a beginner cook and not as comfortable using a knife, a leaf stripper is a nifty tool that makes removing the stems so easy! And you’ll need to treat curly kale differently then Tuscan kale.

How To Prep Curly Kale:

  1. Fold the kale leaf in half and hold the leaves down with your non-dominant hand, leaving the stem exposed on the edge.
  2. Use your chef’s knife to slice the stem off where it meets the leaves.

How To Prep Tuscan Kale:

Tuscan kale, otherwise known as Dinosaur Kale and Lacinato Kale, has a flat leaf rather than curly, and is a bit more delicate. It probably won’t work as well with a leaf stripper unless you have very large, sturdy leaves.

    1. Place the leaf flat on a cutting board and use a paring knife to slice along one side of the stem where it meets the leaf.
    2. Repeat on the other side and remove the stem. I usually like to cut kale into small pieces, about 1/2″-1″ big. This is perfect for salad, to add to soups, etc. 

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