Massaged Kale Salad

At the risk of sounding like a total bandwagon-jumper, I’m just going to throw this out there: I. LOVE. KALE. I love it in salads, sauteed, blended, baked, and even raw. I love it so much that when I dropped my favorite mixing bowl the other day, I was actually more upset about losing the kale salad inside of it than I was about losing the shattered bowl. One afternoon at the Coolidge Corner Farmer’s Market, a fellow patron told me she’s had heard kale was good for her but she didn’t know what to do with it. Man, did she regret asking me… I think I rattled on for about five full minutes before I said something like “what do you do with kale? Eat it! All the time! In everything!!”

That said, I’m going to share the easiest and most delicious kale prep method I’ve ever used. I probably use this trick at least twice a week, ideally with my fresh kale from my Red Fire Farm CSA.

CSA share full of veggies!
CSA share full of veggies!

Or from the incredibly affordable and extensive produce section at Market Basket or Haymarket. Some day I’ll plant it in my garden… when I have one. Bucket list here I come!

Massaged Kale:

I first learned this amazing trick from my college buddy and fellow blogger Jennie. First, I apologize for the name. Massaging your veggies sounds weird and creepy. A coworker and I tried to find alternate names but utterly failed… the best we came up with was “cajoled kale,” which sounds even more ridiculous. But it may be a great name for my hypothetical indie rock band.

Anywho, massaged kale it is. Here’s what you do.

1. Wash your kale. I recommend curly green kale, as fresh as you can get it. (From a local farm if possible! Shameless CSA plug!)

2. Rip the leaves into bite size-ish chunks. There’s no science here. Just be sure you ditch the stalks (or save them to make stock).

3. Toss your clean kale into a bowl and pour on a generous bit of olive oil (I’d start with a tablespoon or so per bunch of kale and then add more as needed).

4. Massage! Stick your hands in there and smush the kale and oil around for a full minute or two. Use some muscle–you’re trying to physically break down the fibrousness and bitterness of raw kale. Eventually you’ll see the kale shrink down and become a dark, soft, glossy green. It will be tender and delicious.

Check out that glossy kale action
Check out that glossy kale action

You can do whatever you want from here–I love to massage in an avocado or hummus and top with some quinoa, nuts, and whatever other veggies I have around.

One of my favorite combos, which has been given the official name “Yummy kale salad:”

– Avocado

– Shredded carrots

– Golden raisins

– Pumpkin seeds

– Sea salt

– Lemon juice

Feel free to go crazy with your own salad creations!

A fall version with blue cheese, lentils, sweet potatoes, and cranberries
A fall version with blue cheese, lentils, sweet potatoes, and cranberries

How do you like to prepare your kale? What would you top your massaged kale salad with? Got any better names for massaged kale?

One thought on “Massaged Kale Salad

  1. Emily

    Tahini + Olive Oil + Apple Cider Vinegar + Salt + Chickpeas (toasted!) + cucumber + red onion (unless you’re on a date…) = delicious!

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