Monday just gave me a knowing wink, then passed me a giant serving of this Detox Salad with cherries, kale, and artichokes.

Super Summer Detox Salad with kale, cherries, and walnuts

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I’m not sure who told Mr. Monday about my Friday night bar bill or showed him the recycling bin after Saturday’s party at the lake, OR how he found out about Sunday night’s barbecue bonanza (for the record, the Crockpot Ribs were suburb).

Somehow, Monday 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 drink and Cleansing Apple Avocado Smoothie and begin to restore the equilibrium of my digestive system.

Thanks to wonderful, nutrient-rich meals like this super summer detox salad (and this Spinach Strawberry Salad with Balsamic Poppy Seed Dressing), I feel happy and satisfied while completing the task.

A colorful Detox Salad with Cherries and Kale

5 Star Review

“I just want you to know that I make this salad EVERY SINGLE WEEK when cherries are available and it is my ALL TIME FAVORITE thing to eat.”

— Lisa —

How to Make a Detox Salad

If you’re suspicious of stereotypical juice-based detoxes like I am, then this detox salad is for you (this Beet Salad is another good one to try). This filling summer salad is LOADED with antioxidant-rich foods resulting in a hearty salad bursting with texture, good-for-you-ingredients, and fresh summer flavor.


The Ingredients

  • Kale. Regarded as one of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet, a serving of kale will give you a powerful punch of vitamin K, vitamin A, vitamin C, and manganese. (For another kale-packed recipe, try this Kale and Brussels Sprouts Salad.)
  • Cherries. Not just for Cherry Crisp, these little summer jewels are rich in antioxidants and known for their anti-inflammatory properties.

Market Swap

If cherries are not in-season, you can swap them for strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, or grapes.

  • Walnuts. Loaded with healthy fats, omega-3s, and powerful antioxidants, walnuts bring more than just crunch to this summer salad party.
  • Farro. I love the subtle nutty flavor and chew farro lends this salad (and this Italian Farro Salad). Plus it provides an excellent source of protein, fiber, and nutrients like magnesium, zinc, and some B vitamins too.

Substitution Tip

If you don’t have farro on hand, you can swap it for quinoa or brown rice. Both are excellent nutritious substitutions.

  • Artichokes. An unexpected addition that pairs surprisingly well with the cherries. Artichokes also bring a daily dose of folate to the table along with vitamins C, vitamin K, potassium, and iron.
  • Chickpeas. One of my forever favorite plant-based proteins that make any vegetarian dish more filling and satisfying (like this Mediterranean Chickpea Salad).
  • Red Onion. For a little zip and bite (as my 7 Layer Salad can attest).
  • Lemon. When mixed with olive oil and a pinch of salt makes the easiest healthy salad dressing that brightens the salad and gives it LIFE!
Ultimate Detox Salad made with kale, chickpeas, cherries, walnuts, and artichokes.

The Directions

  1. Cook the farro as directed by the package directions.
  2. Whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, and 1/2 teaspoon salt until well combined.
  3. Pour the lemon dressing over the warm farro, then toss to coat.
  4. Add the kale, cherries, chickpeas, red onions, and artichokes to the farro and toss to combine. Finish with walnuts. ENJOY!

TIP!

If time allows, place the detox salad in the refrigerator for 20 minutes before serving to allow the kale to tenderize slightly.

Cherries, artichokes, kale, farro, and walnuts are all nutrient-dense ingredients in a healthy detox salad for summer

Make Ahead and Storage Tips

  • To Make Ahead. Chop all the vegetables up to 1 day in advance and store them in the refrigerator.
  • To Store. Place leftover salad in an airtight storage container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. I actually thought it tasted even better leftover, after the kale had mellowed and softened a bit.
Summer Detox Salad with farro, cherries, walnuts, and kale in a bowl with lemon dressing

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.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Meat Would Go With a Detox Salad?

If you would like to add additional protein to this salad, try serving it with Grilled Salmon in Foil, Grilled Chicken Breast, or even Shrimp Kabobs with Pineapple.

Can I Swap the Kale for Arugula or Other Greens?

Sure! If you don’t have kale on hand or don’t enjoy it, you may swap it for a different dark leafy green of your choice. If you plan to have leftovers, keep in mind that most other greens will not hold up as well as kale once dressed and tossed into a salad. For best results, only add dressing to the portion you plan to eat immediately.

What Else Could I Add to a Detox Salad?

Feel free to customize this salad to your taste preferences and what’s in season in your region. Other readers have reported adding sliced avocado, white beans, sliced green apples, pistachios, pecans, and craisins to this salad.

Super Summer Detox Salad

Detox Salad

4.86 from 7 votes
A healthy and filling summer detox salad loaded with antioxidant-rich ingredients like kale, cherries, walnuts, farro, and artichokes.

Total: 30 mins

Servings: 6 servings

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 kale leaves (about 10 to 12 ounces) destemmed and chopped
  • 1 cup pitted cherries halved
  • 1 can chickpeas (15 ounces) rinsed
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1 can artichoke hearts (14 ounces) rinsed and sliced into quarters if large
  • 1/2 cup toasted walnut halves roughly chopped

Instructions
 

  • 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.
  • In a small bowl or measuring cup, briskly whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, and 1/2 teaspoon salt until well combined.
  • Pour the dressing 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.

Notes

  • TO STORE: Leftover summer detox salad will keep in the refrigerator for up to four days.

Nutrition

Serving: 1(of 6)Calories: 251kcalCarbohydrates: 23gProtein: 5gFat: 16gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 6gMonounsaturated Fat: 8gPotassium: 359mgFiber: 7gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 5685IUVitamin C: 59mgCalcium: 164mgIron: 2mg

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at wellplated.com and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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27 Comments

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  1. 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!

    1. Hooray! I hope that you enjoy every bite, and I’d love to hear with you think. Thank you!

  2. 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!5 stars

    1. I am just thrilled to hear this! Thank you so much for trying the recipe and letting me know.

  3. 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!!!

    1. Sherry, thank you so much for this kind and encouraging note. It was definitely an incredibly positive experience for me, and I hope it is for you too. Wishing you all the best on this journey!

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

    Thank you!

    1. Cindy, you can really sub any kind of protein you like! White beans (such as cannellini or white kidney) would be great, as would grilled chicken or sautéed tofu. I hope you enjoy the recipe!

  5. 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!5 stars

    1. Becky, I’m so happy to hear you enjoyed this recipe so much!! Thanks for trying it and letting me know how it turned out for you :)

  6. 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. 5 stars

    1. 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!

    1. Hi Amber, it really depends, which is why I gave a range. It will probably serve closer to 4 as a main dish and more like 6 people as a side, but that depends on how hungry everyone is!

  7. Just made this tonight, Jeff said it’s his new favorite! Definitely worth trying to pit the cherries- I need to find an easier way for this part.4 stars

    1. Do you have a cherry pitter? It is a LIFESAVER! I’m so so happy you both enjoyed it Jana. Thanks for letting me know how it turned out!

  8. Hi Erin! Do you think this salad would  taste okay swapping arugula for the kale? Let me know what you think! :) 

    1. I’m sure that would be tasty Tracey! The arugula will have a much more peppery taste so it will change the flavor profile somewhat, but if you like arugula, then I’m sure you’d enjoy that. The arugula also won’t last as long in the refrigerator as kale once it’s mixed in (it wilts more quickly once it has dressing on it), so if you’d like leftovers, you might consider waiting to stir into the arugula only into the portion you are planning to eat right away.

  9. What type of nut would substitute best? I’m allergic to walnuts so I was thinking maybe pecans or almonds. Just curious if anyone had tried switching that up. Thanks!

    1. Melissa, I think either would be delicious, truly! Personally, I think I’d go for pecans with this flavor combo, but you really can’t go wrong.

      1. Thank you so much for the reply Erin! Made tonigh using pecans (and kale just picked from my garden) and it’s so GOOD!5 stars

    1. Hi Sharon! I started providing a nutrition estimate for recipes published 2016 and on, but unfortunately it’s too time consuming to go back to previous recipes. Online calculators like MyFitnessPal can help if you’re interested in knowing the nutrition estimates!

  10. I just want you to know that I make this salad EVERY SINGLE WEEK when cherries are available and it is my ALL TIME FAVORITE thing to eat…I’m not kidding. I’m obsessed with it. So THANK YOU so much for creating it and sharing it!5 stars