Strawberry, Watermelon, Kale Salad

Kenny Gilbert

Gilbert's Southern Kitchen & Bar, Fernandina Beach, FL

Sometimes all you need to turn scraps into a slamdunk is a flavorpacked sauce. In this recipe, Kenny Gilbert gives overripe fruit and wilted kale new life with a Cajun-inflected dressing that balances heat with the cooling power of fresh mint. Best of all, this versatile dressing works with whatever seasonal fruit and greens you’ve got sitting in your crisper, which means this salad can be your go-to recipe any time you need to clean out the refrigerator.



  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon Cajun spice (such as Ragin’ Cajun)
  • 2 tablespoons mint leaves, chopped


  • 1 cup cubed watermelon
  • 1 cup strawberries, quartered
  • 3/4 cup Tuscan baby kale, julienned
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onions
  • 2 tablespoons Cotija cheese, crumbled


Make the dressing: place lemon juice, oil, Cajun spice, and mint in a large bowl and mix well. Set aside.

Prepare the salad: add watermelon, strawberries, kale, and red onion to a bowl and mix together gently. Toss with the dressing, place salad into 2 bowls, and top with Cotija cheese.


2 servings as a side or 1 as an entrée salad