Cherry and Pea Shoot Kale Salad with Date-Balsamic Vinaigrette

Cherries, pea shoots, and kale! oh my!

Cherry and Pea Shoot Kale Salad with Date-Balsamic Vinaigrette

On my last saunter through the farmers market (the time I bought eleventy billion pounds of vegetables), I picked up some pea shoots because a.) I had never tried them before, and b.) I thought, “what the haystack, I’m acquiring an entire farms’-worth of foodages, what’s a little bag of pea shoots?”

I then immediately googled, “what’s the skinny on pea shoots,” and found that they are full of Vitamins A, C, and folic acid. Like, outrageously full. And I’m pretty sure it takes more calories to burn them than you actually take in…but don’t quote me on that. I used the pea shoots in my kale salads and thought they brought something special to the table. What do pea shoots taste like? Why, peas, of course! I enjoy their mild, sweet flavor and let’s face it: if the little guys had arms, I’d hug the crap out of them.

Because, look at them:

Cherry and Pea Shoot Kale Salad with Date-Balsamic Vinaigrette

Admit it: if they had cheeks, you’d squeeze them.

Since cherry season is going out of style real quick here, I recommend you get on this fountain of youth lickety split. A kale salad with cherries, walnuts, pea shoots, brown rice and red onion covers every flavor and texture, all nutritional bases. If you want, you can add bacon to the kale salad, amen.

And the date-balsamic vinaigrette? hound it. The recipe for the dressing is the same one I used for the Roasted Root Salad with Balsamic-Date Vinaigrette I showed you a few months ago. It’s pretty much the perfect salad dressing – no sauce-lover should be allowed within a 10-foot radius of it. Unless, of course, you want to see dressing disappear like a magic trick.

Cherry and Pea Shoot Kale Salad with Date-Balsamic Vinaigrette

You know what to do.

Cherry and Pea Shoot Kale Salad with Date-Balsamic Vinaigrette

Cherry and Pea Shoot Kale Salad with Date-Balsamic Vinaigrette

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Author: Julia


Cherry and Pea Shoot Kale Salad:

  • 1 leaves head lacinato stems removed and thinly chopped, dino kale
  • 1 cup pea shoots tightly packed
  • ¼ cup red onion thinly sliced
  • 1 cup fresh pitted cherries halved
  • ½ cup raw walnuts chopped
  • ¾ cup cooked brown rice

Date-Balsamic Vinaigrette:

  • ¼ cup oil
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup water
  • 8 large dates pitted and chopped
  • 1/3 cup yellow onion chopped
  • 2 teaspoons whole grain mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt


Prepare the Date-Balsamic Vinaigrette:

  1. Add all ingredients for the vinaigrette to a small blender or food processor. Process until completely smooth. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Prepare the salad:

  1. Add all ingredients for the salad to a large serving bowl.
  2. Toss in desired amount of date-balsamic vinaigrette and serve.

Recipe Notes

You will end up with more date-balsamic vinaigrette than you need. You can use it for all your other summery salads!


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  1. Julie

    I think I’m supposed to be eating this kind of stuff all the time now. And, that would be good, because this looks yummy. I need to get to Fresh Market and see if they have this dino kale and pea shoots (I’m doubtful, because this is the middle of a cornfield). I need to make this for us. Eat all the kale!!

    1. Julia Post author

      Yes, yes, and yes! We will make all the kale things while I’m there. And we could put canned peas in a salad and call them pea shoots for all I care. <- great sell after I've spent an entire post talking about the merits of pea shoots. Anyhoo, we'll do kale. And then we'll do cocktails, because, why not? 😉

      1. Julie

        Exactly. I’ll be super bored by then, acting like I’m still recuperating. Just can’t lift over 15 pounds. No problem living a glass of wine.

    1. Julia Post author

      Pea shoots on burgers, you brilliant woman, you!! I wish I had thought of that! Must get me to a farmer’s market and pick up more shoots!

  2. Joanne

    I often see pea shoots at the market and want to cuddle them. SO CUTE!

    Would it be weird if I hugged this salad before I ate it? I’m feeling a kind of compulsion…

    1. Julia Post author

      Thanks, Thalia! I seriously eat salads every day of my life and can’t seem to get enough of them. The date-balsamic dressing is so tasty and the pea shoots are lots of fun! Let me know if you try it out!

  3. Susan

    This salad sounds delightful. I like the idea of adding a little feta or goat cheese (or even better, goat feta) and some shredded leftover meat to make it a complete one-dish meal. I’m looking forward to trying this.

  4. Elizabeth

    This salad was great! I made it for work lunches and got 3 salads out of it. I added goat cheese and leftover skirt steak for extra protein. Everyone who sampled the date-balsamic dressing loved it, and my boyfriend stole the whole jar of leftover dressing! I felt great all afternoon thanks to this salad.

    1. Julia Post author

      Wahoo! Thanks so much for making the salad and for sharing your feedback, Elizabeth! Skirt steak and goat cheese sound like the perfect addition!! And yes, that dressing?? UGH! SO GOOD! Thanks again, my dear! xoxo

    1. Julia Post author

      Hi Anita! So happy to hear you’re a fellow kale-eater. It truly is a marvelous veggie. You’re in super good company on this site, as I’m big on kale and so are most of my readers. Let me know if you try the salad. Enjoy! xo


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