With the bounty flowing from our garden this time of year (one thing to appreciate about Florida-living), I can’t help but enjoy delicious salads daily. I posted on my Facebook last night “Kale: It’s what’s for dinner” and it was!
Homegrown massaged kale salad.
An old friend asked me for some kale recipe suggestions. There are lots of great ways to enjoy kale: finely chopped in salads, juiced, steamed with garlic, in a fruit smoothie. However, my favorite way to eat kale is massaged. Kale is a bit tough, and the variety that I harvested from my garden last night, Siberian kale, is a bit prickly, so massaging is a way of giving the kale a wilted effect while still enjoying it raw. What began last night as an overflowing harvest of kale became, after some massaging, a healthy serving for my partner and I. He created a homemade dressing using tangelo juice, tahini, garlic, grated kumquat, olive juice, apple cider vinegar, and agave nectar.
The garden: arugula, kale and lettuce, and broccoli and red Russian kale beyond.
A close up of the vibrant lettuce and prickly kale behind.
On to the recipe!
1. Wash and finely chop kale. I’ve found the easiest and quickest way to chop leafy vegetables is to grab a large handful and roll them in a cylindrical bundle the best you can. Then begin slicing finely from one end the the other. I found this youtube video which shows very nicely what to do; although, you don’t have to be as precise as he is in the video.
2. Add some kind of salt to the kale. You can use dressing, olive juice, sea salt, soy sauce, etc. Add it slowly a little at a time to taste until you get a feel for how much you need. You don’t want your salad to turn out too salty. Take into account the salt content of any dressing you plan to add. The salt will help break down the cell walls of the kale to make it easier to wilt.
3. Begin massaging. With clean hands, dig into the kale, squeezing and massaging. It only takes a few minutes to become nicely wilted.
4. Finish salad. That’s your basic massaged kale salad. Add any other toppings you’d like such as lettuce, olives, carrots, tomatoes, peppers, onion, garlic, etc. I like to add crispy greens to go with it like lettuce, arugula, or bok choy to make it a more crunchy salad.