Kale Cherry and Cashew Salad


Sometimes I want an award just for being an adult.

I’d like a little trophy with my adult accomplishment engraved… actually I’ll totally just settle for a sticker.  Being an adult is hard.  No seriously… it’s hard.  I’m not just being a whiner.  I just think that if I could be occasionally high-fived for all of life’s little tasks, I’d feel better about everything.  Just a small gesture, something that says:

Hey Joy, great job printing out and organizing all of your credit card statements.  It’s not even tax time yet.  Right on!

1st place for paying their phone bill not two months late goes to Joy the Baker.

You didn’t eat the entire pack of flour tortillas even though you wanted to.  Well done!

You dusted!  You’re a superstar!

Your socks match, and they’re clean.  Well played.

Look at you payin’ rent like a boss.

Congratulations!  You can aaaaalllllmost afford your own health insurance.

You drove a car across town without crashing it into another car… and your oil change light isn’t even on!

1st place in home decor goes to Joy the Baker for her bottle of bourbon and scented candle!

Great Job!  You didn’t have stale corn chips and salsa for dinner.  You made a kale salad.  You’re so good at life!


Welcome to the land of kale and adulthood.

This recipe is big and green.  It feels simple with leafy kale and a simple vinaigrette, but also feels indulgent with dried cherries and roasted cashews.

This recipe is from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook.  It’s a win.


This is a simple chop, whisk, and toss endeavor.

Chop up the radishes.  Whisk together the mustard, olive oil, and vinegar.  Toss it all together.

Oh!  I forgot the sprinkle… totally the best part.  Sprinkle cherries, cashews, and goat cheese.  Lastly, go nuts with the salt and pepper.


 Truth be told, adulthood has all sorts of build in rewards.  Writing thank you notes on super fancy stationary: reward.  Bourbon: reward.  Eating four cookies and one scone after eating this kale salad: total reward.
Here’s what you should know about this salad.  It’s robust.  Kale is a hearty green, so this salad has some strong legs to stand on.  The vinaigrette is a simple mustard and honey dressing.  Radishes add a bit of spice and crunch.  Cherries, cashews, and goat cheese are just fancy, and make this salad feel like you’re eating out in a fancy restaurant… without doing that.  I used a purple kale for my salad.  Feel free to use any kale that makes you feel fine.  Cavalo Nero is my absolute favorite.  Should you want to books this salad try adding cooked farro or a bit of tuna meat.  Delicious  Look at us!  The picture of health!
What’s that?  You want moooore kale!?  I’ve got you covered!  How about Kale Coconut and Sweet Potato Soup!?  I also made these really delicious Kale and Quinoa Cakes.  They’re like little veggie burgers.  Lastly, my favorite dinner of all time (besides hot dogs): Crunchy Kale and Coconut with Farro.  It’s amazing!

Kale Cherry and Cashew Salad

makes 4 small or 2 large servings

adapted from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook

Print this Recipe!

for the salad:

8 ounces (I used about 8 heaping cups) purple kale (or cavalo nero)

4 ounces (about 4 medium-large) radishes

1/2 cup dried cherries

1/3 cup roasted and salted cashews, coarsely chopped

2 ounces soft goat cheese, chilled and crumbled

salt and pepper for topping

for the dressing:

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 1/2 tablespoons white wine (or apple cider) vinegar

1 tablespoon smooth Dijon mustard

1 1/2 teaspoons honey

salt and pepper to taste

Wash kale and allow it to dry by spreading it out on a paper towel.  Gently tear the kale leaves away from the fibrous stalk.  Tear kale into bite sized pieces and place in a large salad bowl.  Thinly slice radishes and add to the bowl.  Add the dried cherries, salted cashews, and goat cheese crumbles.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Alternately, if you grocery store has a salad bar, you can buy clean, pre-chopped kale on the go.

To make the dressing, in a small bowl whisk together olive oil, vinegar, mustard, and honey.  Whisk until smooth and the oil is well incorporated into the mixture.  Alternately, you can use a small mason jar with a lid to shake the ingredients together.  Drizzle the dressing over the salad and toss together insuring that all of  leaves are coated in dressing.  The salad is delicious to eat immediately, but is even better after its rested for 20 minutes, allowing the leaves to become tender.  

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117 thoughts on “Kale Cherry and Cashew Salad

  1. Thanks, Joy! I often utter the words, “being a responsible adult is so over rated” and think I deserve a gold star every time I unload the dishwasher (even when the drain is clean), so I loved all your comments!

    I also guilt myself when I’m eating a mini kit kat from my daughter’s Halloween haul, by saying to myself, “you’re 42! Grown ups don’t eat …….. (insert your favorite, not-grown-up food….tater tots; Nutella on a spoon; a handful of chocolate chips; Taco Bell; your daughter’s Halloween candy)”. Then after swallowing my last bite of whatever, I make a mental note to remember to not eat not-grown-up food ever again. Memory loss comes with age – just sayin’.

    Thanks for the very grown-up recipe, Joy!

  2. So funny, Joy! I feel like I’m just play acting being an adult sometimes… Sometimes I’m not even very good at play acting, but I’m doing my best.

    Also- cavelo nero is my adult food too – my body gets so excited when I see it, which sounds weird but it’s true!

  3. Never had kale before. I guess if I make a salad and have that for my main course (because after last nights meal) today would be the day to try your Kale salad. On adulthood your right there are so many rewards and mine was the rum and pepsi I had with my not so adulthood meal. Paulette

  4. Adulthood is hard isn’t it? I think we should get those “good job”, “awesome” call outs that Bejewelled gives when you’ve scored high points. I’d love to hear “Great move” everytime after I’ve scrubbed the bathroom floors Cinderella style. Not my favourite activity. Ironing is up that same list. speaking of which, I have 2 months worth of ironing to do…… -_-

    beautiful salad. I want to get my hands on Deb’s cookbook. She’s awesome like you, Joy.

  5. Good job on checking some chores off your list and for making this salad. I can’t wait to get my mitts on Deb’s cookbook. And I probably will skip to the dessert chapters before the salad ones :) But bravo to you for being an adult and responsible and making kale salad before dessert!

  6. I know exactly what you mean! I have recently moved from Oslo to Paris all by myself, and I buy and do all kinds of grown-up things, and why haven’t someone knocked on my door with a trophy yet? I guess I’ll make myself something scrumptious while I wait. Like this salad.

  7. Best tip for eating raw kale: after you chop it, dump it in a large bowl, and give it a good salting (and an optional drizzle of olive oil if you don’t plan on rinsing them after), then spend a few minutes massaging the salt into the leaves. You can then rinse them again if you fear salt, or not. This tenderizes them really well, and brightens up the flavor of the greens. (I don’t generally find this necessary, but some people think raw kale is too tough, and sometime older/larger bunches of it can be, and this fixes that problem.)

  8. I’ve got to try kale in salad.. Never had kale totally raw before. I love the combo of dried cherries and goat cheese. Totally fancy and delicious. I’m clearly not going to excel at this adult thing until I have a raw kale salad :)

  9. Funny – today, another favorite food blogger (How Sweet It Is) wrote about adulthood (and the last day of her 20s) and kale salad! But really, matching clean socks deserve an award.. Who has time to waste matching socks?!

  10. Sometimes I think I should get a reward for doing adult things as well. Especially when I have to reach my hand in dishwater to unclog a drain. That is the worst and it deserves an award or in my case a reward…in the form of apple crisp.

    Kids can’t use ovens. Win.

    Adulthood – 1 Not being an adult- 0

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