a kale salad perfect for the spring! kale & asparagus are paired with lemon thyme chicken, nutty farro, tangy goat cheese, & roasted red pepper. tossed in a lemon thyme vinaigrette. tossed in a lemon thyme vinaigrette, this kale salad will keep you coming back for more! perfect for a simple weeknight al fresco girls’ night with a bottle rosé, or meal prep for a week’s worth of delicious, healthy lunches at the office!
soooooo…i kinda have a confession to make.
i’ve eaten this kale salad with grilled lemon chicken, asparagus & goat cheese for lunch EVERY SINGLE DAY for the last MONTH.
i know those of you who hate eating the same thing over & over again are seriously grossed out by this right now, but this salad is seriously THAT good.
it all started when i accidentally got way too excited about seeing the season’s first asparagus at the store on sale. it was standing there, proudly, in all of its lime green splendor & i just couldn’t help myself! i may or may not have put three bunches into our basket.
chris gave me a major eyebrow raise but he has learned not to question me when i put things in the basket, ha! #marriagewin
it didn’t really occur to me that 3 bunches of asparagus is kind of an insane amount of asparagus for our family of 2 until we got home & i had to make room for it all in my crisper (not until after i posted about it on my instagram stories, though…obv).
i knew i wanted to grill the asparagus & throw it in a salad to take to work throughout the week, & the rest of it just kind of fell into place. kale, for its superfood benefits (plus it keeps me full longer at work). grilled chicken that has been marinated in lemony thyme fabulousness (because thyme + lemon + asparagus = heaven). hearty, comforting farro, because duh. goat cheese, because it’s my #1 bae. & diced roasted red pepper for its pretty color.
i also made a quick lemon thyme vinaigrette. i love to make my own vinaigrettes! it’s so easy to throw together a homemade vinaigrette in less than 5 minutes, & i love having control over the ingredients that go in. i find store vinaigrettes, in general, to be a little sweet. it also definitely doesn’t hurt our grocery budget to save $3-4 here & there…because who wants to buy salad dressing when you could buy a bottle of wine instead? #amirite???
if you don’t want to make your own vinaigrette, or you’re just pressed for time, feel free to use your favorite vinaigrette. any citrusy or lemony vinaigrette would be great, given the grilled chicken marinade has lemon, but i think an aged balsamic would be pretty awesome too.
this kale salad with grilled lemon chicken, asparagus & goat cheese ends up being so pretty & so flavorful! the deep earthy flavors of the kale & asparagus are brought to life by the bright lemon in the chicken & the vinaigrette. balanced by the rich tang of creamy goat cheese & the natural sweetness of roasted red peppers, omg every bite is full of amazing flavor!
this salad is literally the perfect springtime salad to feed to your girlfriends for a casual weeknight girls date. it’s light, nutritious, beyond easy to throw together, & SO delicious. i’m thinking girlfriends + patio + bruschetta + salad + wine. does it get any better than that?? i suggest pairing this salad with a nice dry white or your favorite dry rose. they’d both complement the lightness of the salad nicely, while also balancing out the richness of the goat cheese.
i’m kind of having a moment just thinking about it.
you can also take a page out of my meal prep book & make these salads ahead of time for a week’s worth of delicious lunches. i grill up a big batch of chicken & asparagus over the weekend, & chop it up along with the red pepper & kale. store in separate containers & assemble your salads as you need them! it doesn’t get easier than that.
springtime kale salad with grilled lemon chicken, asparagus & goat cheese. just do it!
so…i’d love to hear about your favorite spring produce & they ways you’re obsessed with using it up!! do you have go-to lunches? let me know in the comments below, i’d obviously LOVE to chat!! xx
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- 1 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast
- 2 lemons, zested, juiced & sliced
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 2 sprigs fresh sage
- 10 sprigs fresh thyme
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 T olive oil, separated
- 1 lb asparagus, ends trimmed
- 2 bunches lacinato kale, thinly sliced
- 1 C farro, cooked according to package directions (quick cook is fine!)
- one 12-oz jar roasted red pepper, drained & thinly sliced
- 4 oz goat cheese, crumbled
- 1 C extra virgin olive oil
- 1 lemon, zested & juiced
- 2 T fresh thyme leaves (about 10 sprigs)
- 1 T honey
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1/2 tsp salt + more salt & pepper to taste
- combine the chicken breast, lemon juice, lemon zest, spent sliced lemons, rosemary, sage, thyme, & garlic in a ziplock bag with 2 T olive oil. Seal the bag, pressing out any air, & shake so the chicken has good contact with all of the other contents of the bag. Store in the fridge for up to 3 days.
- preheat the grill on high heat.
- while grill is preheating, drizzle remaining 2 T olive oil over the asparagus & lightly toss. season with salt & pepper & set aside.
- once the grill is to temperature, grill chicken & asparagus over medium heat.
- turn chicken after 4-6 minutes & cook for another 4-6 minutes until cooked through.
- toss asparagus over the grill frequently, until cooked. the asparagus should take on a bright green color, but still have some crunch to it.
- let chicken & asparagus rest for a few minutes before chopping into bite-sized pieces & set aside.
- in a blender or food processor, combine olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, thyme, honey, garlic, salt & pepper & pulse until emulsified. store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
- in a large bowl, combine diced chicken, asparagus, sliced kale, farro, sliced roasted red pepper & crumbled goat cheese. toss with about 1/4-1/2 C of lemon thyme vinaigrette & serve!
- these salads are great to meal prep! prep all ingredients according to the instructions, & store in separate containers in the fridge & assemble salads as you need them throughout the week.