Refreshing Kale Salad


To those of you who saw the word’s “kale” and “salad” and decided to pass this recipe up, HEAR ME OUT:

Kale is delicious!

And nutritious!

Chock full of nutrients such as beta-carotene and calcium, kale is a fabulous addition to soups and stews, but I must admit that I had never thought of eating it raw before.

(Raw kale, in all of its leafy splendor, looks a little hard to chew, wouldn’t you say?)

Lately, in addition to my usual carb cravings, I have been having some serious hankerings for dark greens!  Therefore, I am super thankful to my foodie friend for introducing me to what is my new favorite salad: Massaged Kale Salad.

“Massaged?”, you ask.

Yes, massaged.

It is the massage that helps break down the tough fibers in the kale, transforming its tough leaves into edible bites of goodness.  A tangy vinaigrette and chunks of sweet, juicy fruit perfect this refreshing and anti-oxidant-rich salad:

 

Another great thing about this salad is that the recipe is flexible.  Don’t want honey in the vinaigrette?  No worries.  Prefer orange segments over mango slices?  No problem!

So serve a big pile of  this massaged kale next to your ribeye or slice of pizza and suddenly your dinner won’t look so unhealthy anymore.  😉

Massaged Kale Salad

(recipe adapted from Aarti Sequeira)

*1 head kale, rinsed

*4 Tablespoons olive oil

*1-2 lemons

*salt and pepper

*fresh mango chunks or any other juicy fruit like pineapple, peach or pear

First, remove the ribs of the kale leaves with a knife.  Also, remove any yellowed leaves.

Don’t throw those ribs out, though!  Add them to your compost pile.

Stack leaves and tightly roll them into a “cigar”:

Thinly slice or chiffonade the cigar…

…like so:

Place strips of kale in a large bowl and add a couple tablespoons of olive oil:

Here’s the fun part: massage the kale!  Scrunch and squeeze the leaves until they are soft, about 5 minutes.  (This process will also cause the kale to shrink.)

Add the juice of half a lemon and massage in.

In a separate bowl, add the juice of a lemon…

…a couple tablespoons of olive oil…

…a teaspoon of honey…

…salt to taste (I used 1 teaspoon)…

…and fresh-cracked pepper.

Whisk vigorously:

Pour over kale and give a good toss.

Since this salad is even tastier the longer it sets, you could make it an hour or even a day in advance.  (I’ve found that the kale gets a little dry in the fridge so I add a little more lemon juice before serving.)

Toss in your fruit:

I was surprised at how fragrant this salad was!  Massaging the kale released a smell similar to green bananas or fresh-cut grass.

*SNIFF*–ahhhhh!

A quick and easy salad that is both nutritious and fragrant.

How bad can that be?

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