Massaged kale salad, three ways

Posted by Lisa on October 07, 2010
autumn, Frog Bottom Farm recommends, kale, recipes

Mmmm, raw kale!

I like to think of kale as a gateway green: although it may look a bit intimidating with all those ribs and ruffles, it’s actually quite easy to love.  It’s delicious chopped quickly and thrown into the skillet with some olive oil and garlic, and sautéed until it’s bright green and a little bit tender.  Eat it just like that, or squeeze a bit of lemon juice on top.  That whole process takes 15 minutes, tops.

We’ve also won over many a kale skeptic with kale chips, also known as roasted kale or crispy kale. Kale chips are quick and completely addictive.  Arrange kale on a baking sheet in a single (or so) layer, toss with a little olive oil and salt, and bake at 375° for 10 minutes or 15 minutes, giving the cookie sheet a shake or two if you remember, until the edges get crispy.  We usually do a double batch.

Colcannon is delicious too.  This is a traditional Irish dish of potatoes and kale or cabbage.  A fun Halloween tradition is to hide a ring and a coin in the dish — whoever gets the ring will be next to marry, and whoever gets the coin is assured good fortune in the coming year!

Bushel of kale

Sautéed kale, kale chips, and colcannon are really so easy and so delicious, and so for a long time we were lazy about trying anything new.

But we just discovered something wonderful.  We’ve been growing kale for five years and yet this surprising little dish slipped quietly into our lives just last month.  But make no mistake: massaged kale salad is here to stay.

We’d come across the idea before but jammed it into an already crowded file folder of “stuff to try at some point.”  It might have languished there for years if not for my mom, who’s recently been exploring Mark Bittman’s suggestion to eat vegan until 6pm, a creative idea for improving your own health and for depending less on the unwholesome way most meat is produced in this country. Through her I discovered Choosing Raw, a website full of ideas for a natural, unprocessed, plant-based diet.  Gena, who writes the site, is cheerful and encouraging and never judgmental.  She makes me feel excited all over again about all the vegetables we grow.

So I was happy to give her raw massaged kale salad a spin, but I didn’t know how crazy we’d be for it.  Since we started making it in September, we’ve eaten it no fewer than three times a week.  It’s light and filling all at once.  And like a traditional green salad, there are endless possibilities.  Here are three we like.  Try it!

Massaged kale salad

Basic Massaged Kale Salad

3/4 lb curly kale, chopped into 1-inch ribbons
2-3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
salt to taste
lemon juice
grated carrots
toasted sunflower seeds

Put kale in a large bowl.  Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.   Massage with your hands so that it’s well coated with the olive oil and it begins to wilt and darken, less than a minute.  Add the lemon juice (you might like up to a full lemon), grated carrots, and toasted sunflower seeds, and toss.  Yum! This is enough for two generous portions with some leftovers.  Doubles easily.

Massaged Kale Salad with Tahini-Apple Cider Vinegar Dressing

3/4 lb curly kale, chopped into 1-inch ribbons
salt to taste
1 Tbsp or so olive oil
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
juice of one lemon
1/4 cup soy sauce
3 Tbsp tahini
1-2 cloves garlic
2-3 dates, pitted
additional vegetables

Put the kale in a large bowl, sprinkle with salt, and drizzle with olive oil.  Massage with your hands until it begins to wilt and darken, less than a minute.  Set aside.  Put the apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, soy sauce, tahini, garlic, and dates in a blender or food processor, and process until smooth.  Taste the dressing; add more dates if it’s too tangy, or more apple cider vinegar if it needs a little more kick. Add about two tablespoons of the dressing to the kale, and massage again to coat.  Taste the salad at this point to see if you want to add more dressing.  Add any vegetables you like; we like grated carrots, sliced apples, golden raisins, and toasted sunflower seeds on this one.  Makes two generous portions with some leftovers. You’ll also have plenty of dressing left.  Store it in a jar in the fridge and use it on tomorrow’s kale salad!

Massaged Kale Salad with Avocado (our favorite!)

3/4 lb curly kale, chopped into 1-inch ribbons
2-3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
salt to taste
1 avocado
lemon juice
additional vegetables, nuts, seeds

Put kale in a large bowl.  Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.   Massage with your hands so that it’s well coated with the olive oil and it begins to wilt and darken, less than a minute.  Add 1/3 to 1/2 of the avocado, and massage again so that the avocado coats the kale like a thick dressing.  Dice the rest of the avocado and add it, along with the lemon juice and any other ingredients (try grated hakurei turnips, grated beets, or grated kohlrabi).  Toss.  Eat!

Raw massaged kale salad

(Find more recipe ideas for greens here.)

6 Comments to Massaged kale salad, three ways

Stephanie
October 8, 2010

That avocado kale salad looks fabulous!

[...] Click here for the recipe Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)Raw Kale Salad from DenaEndive Salad RecipeKale’s Amazing Health BenefitsRaw Tuscan Kale Salad With Pecorino [...]

sharon
October 17, 2010

Love it!! My fav is the salad with the tahini cider dressing. For those who substitute, (in the absence of tahini) we used peanut butter and subbed dried apricots for the dates. Outstanding- wish I had a full share of kale to make it again! I’ve never had raw kale this good- thanks for sharing.

[...] Basically, I followed Heidi Swanson’s recipe for raw kale salad, except I skipped the breadcrumbs and have a slightly different method. I also added an avocado, because I had one on hand and another friend of mine had suggested a raw massaged kale salad with avocado. [...]

[...] massaged kale salad [...]

Connie Fletcher
June 7, 2012

Thank you for your site, and I hope you’re still here!!!! Still blogging? Eating more vegan? I surely hope so!!!

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