Summer Kale Salad with Blueberries and Chicken

Summer Kale Salad

With summer in full effect, dinners become lighter as the temperature rises, and I start craving fresh foods, such as this summer kale salad. If any of you are like me, when the thermostat starts regularly reading 90F+, I don’t often want to cook anymore, let alone eat a heavy meal.

This summer kale salad is my dog days go-to. It features a explosion of fresh fruits and produce, with lacinato kale (also known as dinosaur kale), blueberries, pears, lemon, and sunflower seeds. Easily a perfect light bite, the addition of a “brick” cooked skin-on chicken breast makes this a more substantial meal. The dish can also easily be made with a vegetarian or vegan in mind, and it is naturally gluten free.

Not only is this dish a treat to the taste buds, it plates beautifully (as seen with our 222 Fifth square Adelaide salad plate) and can easily impress friends or family with its bright appetizing colors. Please note that this salad CAN be made in advance and keeps nicely in the fridge for up to 2 days.


Summer Kale Salad

Summer Kale Salad with Blueberries and Chicken

Yields: 4 servings


For The Crust:
  • 1 large chicken breast, skin-on
  • 1 bunch lacinto kale
  • 1 lemon – unwaxed
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 medium sized pear – diced
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1/4 cup toasted salted sunflower seeds
  • 1 large chicken breast
  • salt & pepper, to taste


  1. Rinse kale and remove stem and thick center vein. Stack leaves and roll tightly from top to bottom, similiar to a cigar. Using sharp knife, slice down the roll, creating thin kale ribbons. Place in bowl. Drizzle olive oil and 1/4 tsp salt over kale and massage kale for several minutes to evenly coat.
  2. In small mixing bowl, combine honey, juice of 1 lemon and zest of half a (unwaxed) lemon. Whisk to blend, then pour over oil coated kale, tossing to evenly coat. Cover and place kale in fridge while cooking chicken.
  3. Heat cast iron pan on high heat with enough olive oil to coat bottom of pan. Generously salt and pepper both sides of skin-on chicken breast. Once pan is hot, place chicken breast skin side down and use smaller cast iron pan as weight, placing on top of the chicken breast, to ensure even cooking. Reduce heat to medium-high and cook for 6-8 minutes, allowing the fat of the skin to render and crisp. After 8 minutes, flip chicken over, place smaller cast iron back onto chicken breast, and continue to cook, skin-side up, for another 6-8 minutes. If you have a meat thermometer, check the temp for 160-165F. If not, slice into thickest part of breast and check visibly for doneness.
  4. While chicken is cooking, heat another pan on medium-high with a small amount of oil to coat the pan. Once hot, add sunflower seeds and allow to brown. Occassionally toss/stir the sunflower seeds to allow even cooking and to reduce opportunity to burn. Salt to taste. Once browned, remove from heat and let cool.
  5. When chicken is finished, remove from heat and place on cutting board. Allow meat to rest for several minutes before cutting into it.
  6. Remove kale mixture from fridge. Add diced fresh pear and blueberries, toss.
  7. Slice chicken breast (including skin) into 1″ cubed portions and add to salad. Add salt and pepper to taste and toss.
  8. Top salad with toasted sunflower seeds and serve!
Special Equipment Required:
  • 2 cast iron pans, one smaller in size to act as “brick”
  • Meat thermometer, optional
  • Zester, optional (can use sharp knife or peeler if zester is unavailable)

Allergy Alerts: soy-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, can be made vegan.