Hi! Happy Monday! I am SOO incredibly in love with this salad.

Sunflower Seed, Kale and Cherry Salad with Savory Granola | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Yes, my salad obsession is in full swing. In fact, it seems to be getting bigger and bigger… and better and better. Hello!!! Fresh CHERRIES in a salad…with crunchy sweet and savory granola, YESS. My kind of salad! 🙂

SO. Before we dive into this salad, I kind of feel like we should talk about everyone’s weekend. Like how was yours?!?! What did you guys do? If you follow me on Snapchat (follow hbharvest) than you know I was kind of all over the place this last weekend. I started things off with a quick trip to Napa Valley. I was there as a guest of Castello Cheese, whom I am partnering with this year to bring you guys some KILLER cheese recipes (yeah!!). I did a quick one night trip, but YOU GUYS, Napa Valley is gorgeous, I mean like, is that heaven on Earth or what?!?! I got to eat all the cheese (like ALL the CHEESE), hang out with Micheal Symon and tour maybe one of the prettiest vineyards ever….and all in less than twenty-four hours. Whoa.

And Micheal Symon, he’s seriously awesome. Plus, he’s from Cleveland, and no matter where I am living, I will always be a Cleveland girl… born and raised. ?

So I flew in Thursday night, took the red-eye home Friday night and the rest of my weekend was pretty jam-packed. I needed to do recipe testing for an upcoming project. I did a fun snapchat video making these KILLER ice cream sandwiches. And I also worked at finishing up the cookbook. I can’t lie, my Monday is looking slightly daunting, but I’m ready for it, and just looking at this salad has me feeling all energized and happy!

Sunflower Seed, Kale and Cherry Salad with Savory Granola | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvestSunflower Seed, Kale and Cherry Salad with Savory Granola | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvestSunflower Seed, Kale and Cherry Salad with Savory Granola | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

OH, and a lot of you asked last week where my family is going on vacation to at the end of month. They are headed to La Playa Del Carmen, south of Cancun. I am going to try my hardest to make it there with them, but um, life is kind of crazy and hectic at the moment, especially with my book deadline looming, so I can’t say it’s looking good.

I did get my passport though, so that’s all good! We were all worried that was never going to happen. But finally, after a lot of hair pulling and many hours spent making calls (there is no place to go up here in the mountains without a few months notice), my mom helped me to get it done. Whoa, now at least if the opportunity arises I will be ready to go at a moments notice! Cool!

Sunflower Seed, Kale and Cherry Salad with Savory Granola | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Alright, but let’s chat about this Sunflower Seed, Kale and Cherry Salad.

I know I said this earlier, but I am in LOVE with this salad. Ok, I’m basically in love with any recipe that involves cherries, but especially this salad! Here is how this salad goes. You marinate some kale, grill some fresh summer squash + zucchini, add the grilled squash to a large salad bowl along with the kale, fresh sweet corn, fresh cherries, cooked white beans and a handful of fresh microgreens. Then finish it off with a heavy sprinkle of savory/sweet sunflower seed granola and a good drizzle of the most delicious toasted sunflower seed and parmesan vinaigrette.

Sounds so good, right?!?! IT IS.

So you got the salad part, now I need to go into detail about that savory granola, because oh my gosh, it’s the best thing to ever happen to a salad. It’s slightly sweet, but salty and crunchy, and SO perfect!! Honestly, this is my new go to salad topping. It makes salad fun and crunchy and hearty! YUM.

And the vinaigrette?? Well, it’s pretty awesome too! The sunflower seeds really add an incredible flavor, while the lemon and parmesan keep it super light and fresh.

Perfection when paired with those sweet summer cherries (so, so, so excited about cherry season!) and dark kale greens. It’s definitely not your average salad, but I feel like that’s a really good thing, because personally, average salads are just so lame in my eyes.

Hip, hip hooray for big ass, color packed, flavor packed… cherry packed, salads.

Ok and yes, I am way too excited about the cherries. Sorry – not sorry. 🙂

Sunflower Seed, Kale and Cherry Salad with Savory Granola | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest
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The Recipe

Sunflower Seed, Kale and Cherry Salad with Savory Granola.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 0 SERVES 4

Ingredients

  • 1 leaves bunch kale roughly torn
  • 1 zucchini + summer squash quartered
  • olive oil for drizzling
  • kosher salt + pepper
  • 4 ears fresh or grilled corn kernels removed from the cob
  • 1 1/2 cup fresh cherries pitted + halved
  • 1 ounce can white or black beans drained, 14
  • 1 cup microgreens

Sunflower Seed Vinaigrette

  • 1/3 cup shelled toasted sunflower seeds
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil chopped
  • kosher salt + pepper
  • crushed red pepper flakes to taste

Savory Granola

  • 1 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1/2 cup raw shelled sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 teaspoons low sodium soy sauce
  • pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Add the kale to a large bowl salad bowl with a tablespoon or two of olive oil and a pinch of salt. Massage the kale with your hands for 2-3 minutes or until the kale begins to break down and soften a bit.
  2. Heat a grill or grill pan to high heat.
  3. Place the zucchini in another bowl and drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Toss to combine. Grill the zucchini until light char marks appear, about 3-5 minutes per sides. Remove from the grill.
  4. Add the grilled zucchini, corn, fresh cherries and beans to the bowl with the kale. Gently toss to combine. Sprinkle on the microgreens and savory granola (see recipe below). Serve the salad alongside the sunflower seed vinaigrette (recipe below).

Sunflower Seed Vinaigrette

  1. Add the sunflower seeds, olive oil and lemon juice to a high powered blender or food processor. Process until completely smooth. If needed, add water to thin the vinaigrette. Stir in the chopped basil, salt and pepper. Add a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes to your taste. Vinaigrette can be made a few days in advance and kept in the fridge.

Savory Granola

  1. Preheat the oven the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Add the oats, coconut and sunflower seeds to the baking sheet
  2. In a small bowl, stir together the olive oil, honey, soy sauce, and pepper. Pour over the oats mixture and use your hands to toss everything together until combined.
  3. Spread granola in a single layer. Bake for 10 minutes, stir and toss, and then bake for another 10 to 15 minutes or until oats are toasted. Remove from oven and let cool completely. The granola will keep in a glass jar for up to 1 week. Serve sprinkled over the salad.
Sunflower Seed, Kale and Cherry Salad with Savory Granola | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Also, did you notice the cheese? There’s almost none, and yet I still LOVE this salad. Weird.

Sunflower Seed, Kale and Cherry Salad with Savory Granola | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest