Super Summer Detox Salad

Monday just gave me a knowing wink, then passed me a giant serving of this summer detox salad.

Super Summer Detox Salad

I’m not sure who cued Mr. Monday into my Friday night bar bill, showed him the recycling bin after Saturday’s excursion on the lake (I promise I shared that six-pack and guac!), or mentioned Sunday night’s barbecue bonanza (kudos to my sister-in-law, who cooked five pounds of fall-apart tender spare ribs), but he has a way of cajoling me into atoning for my weekend excesses. It’s as if the “M” on my calendar stands for “Make Amends.” On Mondays, I restore the equilibrium of my digestive system, and thanks to wonderful, nutrient-rich meals like this Super Summer Detox Salad, I feel happy and satisfied while completing the task.

Super Food Detox Salad with Cherries and Kale

Summer Detox Salad with Cherries and Kale

I created this salad the week after we returned from New York City, which if you’ve so much as skimmed that post, you might have an idea why I felt compelled to up my intake of greens. In the Big Apple, we ate with the guilt-free gusto of vacation, regretting only our lack of stomach space. Though I certainly wouldn’t trade the midnight pork buns, daily croissants, melt-in-your-mouth pastas, and fried chicken we enjoyed for a salad bar, I arrived home in a body crying out for a reset (and vegetables).

I’ve long been suspicious of stereotypical juice-based detoxes (plus, I completely lack the will power to subsist on liquids alone), so instead, I created a filling meal based around antioxidant-rich foods. The result is a hearty salad loaded with texture, good-for-you-ingredients, and bursting with fresh summer flavor.

Ultimate Detox Salad

Let’s review our detox dream team: crunchy kale; bright cherries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and grapes would be excellent too); walnuts; whole grains (I used farro—quinoa or brown rice are good swaps, if you prefer); artichokes; lemon; and chickpeas, plus red onions for a little zip.

I can already feel the power.

Super Summer Detox Salad. Something this good for you shouldn't taste this delicious! Made with cherries, kale, chickpeas, and other antioxidant rich foods

Packed with fiber and protein, this summer detox salad is satisfying enough to serve as a main meal and will keep in the refrigerator for four days, making it a perfect make-ahead dish. I actually thought it tasted even better leftover, after the kale had mellowed and softened a bit.

In the event you need one more reason to toss together this detox salad, let it be the season. Once again, I’m joining the #EatSeasonal blogger team to share a round up of recipes highlighting produce that is at its peak of freshness and flavor. The June list is dreamy.

What's in Season for June

Honestly, I think I could make some version of this detox salad with just about every ingredient on this list, and I hope you feel inspired to do the same.

Summer Detox Salad. Packed with the Top 10 antioxidant rich foods. Serve for lunch, at a potluck, or top with chicken for dinner

Monday, give me all the knowing looks you like—I’ve got a forkful of summer detox salad, and I’ll dominate any stare down.

Super Summer Detox Salad

A healthy and filling detox salad loaded with antioxidant rich ingredients like kale, cherries, walnuts, and artichokes in a light lemon dressing.

Yield: Serves 4-6

Total Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup uncooked farro or quinoa
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 1 large or 2 small lemons)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus additional for cooking the farro
  • 1 large bunch (about 10 to 12 ounces) kale leaves, destemmed and chopped
  • 1 cup pitted cherries, halved
  • 1, 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1, 14-ounce can artichoke hearts, rinsed and sliced into quarters if large
  • 1/2 cup toasted walnut halves, roughly chopped

Directions:

  1. Place the farro in a medium saucepan with 1 1/2 cups water and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, then simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the water is absorbed and the farro is tender, about 25 minutes. Transfer to a large serving bowl. While the farro cooks, prepare the other ingredients.
  2. In a small bowl or measuring cup, briskly whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, and 1/2 teaspoon salt until well combined. Pour over the warm farro, then toss to coat. Add the kale, cherries, chickpeas, red onions, and artichokes and toss to combine. Sprinkle the walnuts over the top. If time allows, place in the refrigerator for 20 minutes to allow the kale to tenderize. Enjoy.

Leftover Summer Detox Salad will keep in the refrigerator for up to four days.

All images and text ©/Well Plated.

For more June inspiration, don’t miss the rest of our #EatSeasonal recipes, and tag your own social media seasonal recipe photos with hashtag #EatSeasonal too!

About Erin Clarke

I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food taste incredible. Wearer of plaid, lover of bourbon, and firmly convinced that sweets and veggies both deserve a place at the table. MORE ABOUT ERIN...

48 comments

  1. I love grains added to salad they make it so much more substantial…and I just can’t get enough of cherries.  they are at their prime right now and I’m eating them by the fistful, so adding them to a salad may slow my consumption down slightly…great salad.

  2. I 100% need this. It seems that lately all I’ve been doing is stuffing my face with every unhealthy food imaginable (I blame vacation as well).  This salad looks perfectly refreshing, perfectly filling and is perfect to get me back on track! Happy Monday! 

  3. yum! definitely going to try this!

  4. I get so excited for the seasonal produce posts each month. This detox salad looks perfect to keep my summer body goals going!

  5. This looks delicious! I am such a farro fan and I love the colors of this salad, too :)

  6. Hey girl This looks really good!!

  7. What a stunning salad! I love the addition of cherries too – they are my favourite fruit! Actually, this salad has all of my favourite things – I love chickpeas, artichokes, everything! What a perfect recipe :)

  8. Morning Erin, it’s a bit early for me love the looks and sounds if this salad.  I can’t see on the ingredients kale, it’s in the pictures and you mention it in the instructions.  Maybe I missed it?

  9. Mondays are so sneaky like that!  I’ve been lacking salad inspiration lately so this is exactly what I need! I love, love, love everything about this salad!

  10. Hooray for cherries in salad! This looks like a hearty, healthy super delicious meal that I’d like to eat all summer long.

  11. Your sludge in NY sounds fabulous as does this detox salad. I’m all about balance too :)  Happy 3 year bloggiversary friend :)

  12. What a beautiful salad that’s perfect for summertime! And I’m loving the “detox” part of it – I’ll have to try it out!! Pinned :)

  13. Oh I need this badly. Yesterday I only ate cake and grilled cheese sandwiches. I cannot lie – it was awesome – but I need a detox! Love how loaded this salad is with so many of my favorites! XO

  14. This salad is mouthwateringly gorgeous (I say as I just finished a handful of malted milk balls, eeehhhh)!

  15. YUUUM that salad looks amazing!! So many different elements, just as a fun salad should be. Far from boring!
    I’ve never used farro before, but looks so yum. I do have some quinoa, so might try it with that first! X

  16. In Russia there is no artichoke. What can replace it? Thank you.

  17. I love cherries and walnuts in this salad!

  18. I needed a dose of health in my life after this weekend! Went for it in the form of spinach and salmon :)

  19. That is not a combo I would have put together but now that I’m thinking of it, it looks AMAZING! And a fun use for farro which is such an over looked grain. Seriously amazing. 

  20. This salad looks wonderful. I love the addition of the cherries! Perfect detox salad after a long weekend! 

  21. I could never bring myself to detox with a juice cleanse – this is MUCH more my speed, Erin! I love how this salad has everything I love — I would hardly feel deprived eating this :)

  22. I love all the delicious toppings you added to this salad! The cherries and walnuts in particular are a fantastic touch!

  23. Erin, I can’t remember if I’ve said this yet, but happy three years on the blog!!!

    I’ve had a serious obsession with cherries lately, and I can’t wait to make this. What a beautiful salad for summer!

  24. The cherries are a wonderfully yummy touch! I will be adding them to my salads more often. Thx for sharing.

  25. This salad is just what the doctored ordered. So healthy and delicious, Erin! I’ve never paired cherries with artichokes before but I am going to have to now! 

  26. YUM! I have all of these ingredients in the fridge. I guess I know what I’m making for lunch tomorrow! 

  27. I’m staring at my computer in awe of your combination of artichokes and cherries. I would never have thought of that yet it sounds soooo good! I vacation with guilt-free gusto…it’s really the only way, right? :)

  28. You are my hero. I’m in a cleaning eating diet for the bikini ultimate goal. And to tell you the truth, i’m dying here with my poor, miserable diet. This brand new this is a lovely encouragement for me to embark on this challenged journey. Thank you so much!!!

  29. Hi Erin!  this salad is absolutely gorgeous! But is the nutrition calculation correct?  600 cal per serving? Is that a main dish serving or a side serving? I hope its a side serving otherwise just one meal will be more than half of my calorie intake!

  30. This sounds so yummy and guilt-free.  I need a detox after a couple of weeks of travel and fast food. I bought the ingredients today. I can’t wait to try it!

  31. It was delish!  Very flavorful and it was indulgent without the guilt. I had pecans and quinoa already, so I used that instead of walnuts and farro.  I’ll be making this every week for my meal prep so I can eat it out the fridge and it travels well.  Maybe do little variations to keep it interesting. Thank you!

  32. I’m making for lunch tomorrow!  Thank you!

  33. I have really enjoyed reading your story. My husband and I are trying to do the no sugar eating.  My husband is a diabetic , he is doing great. I am going to get on board, l have fibromyalgia and I know I would feel much better.  This has really encourage me. Keep us posted with new ideas. God Bless You!!!

  34. This looks amazing! I’m allergic to chick peas though. What would you suggest for a happy alternative?

    Thank you!

  35. This was delicious! I swapped out a few things(cannelinis for chickpeas and craisins for cherries)because it was what I had on hand. The dressing seemed overpowering by itself but was great once it was on the salad. It was even better the next day!

  36. Thank you for this salad recipe. I made it with quinoa, and followed the recipe exactly – it was delicious.  In fact,  my husband asked me to make it again (and he is a burger kind of guy).  The second time, I made it with a chopped avocado instead of the canned artichoke because I had all of the other ingredients and didn’t want to run to the store for just artichokes.  It was also delicious that way.  I agree it is even better the second day.  You should rename it awesome salad, as the detox properties are terrific, but the flavors stand up to any other salad I have made.  Tip:  make double the quinoa amount and save it in the refrigerator to shorten the prep time when you make it again. 

    • Janie, thank you so much for this glowing review, and your tip about the quinoa too. Avocado sounds like a delicious addition as well. I’m going to try it that way myself next time!

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