My love affair with kale began when I discovered how to make this simple salad. It takes 10 minutes to make and it makes eating raw kale so delicious, even picky eaters ask for more. Kale has an abundance of calcium, lutein (an antioxidant), iron, and is rich in vitamins A, C, and K. Most people are surprised to hear that it has seven times the beta-carotene of broccoli and ten times more lutein.
The secret to this salad is in the massage – when you squeeze the kale with lime or lemon juice, the acidity “cooks” it, making it softer and shrinking the greens down to a fraction of their original state. I like to add a combination of lemon, salt, sugar, and healthy fat to my kale salad — these four essential elements create a dish with a delicious, balanced flavor. Added bonus: This salad will stay fresh in your fridge for a few days, so make a big batch and then toss in whatever extras you like when you serve it.
There are several types of kale–red, green, curled, savoy, and fringed–and they will all work for this recipe. Try green curly kale with this version pictures. It works with all varieties of kale.
Basic Massaged Kale Salad Recipe
4-6 cups (one bunch) kale
¼ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons lemon or lime juice
1 teaspoon honey or agave nectar
¼ cup olive oil or 1 chopped avocado
1. Wash, dry, and remove the thick center stems from your kale. Tear the leaves into pieces and toss it in a roomy bowl.
2. Add your acid of choice, salt, sweetener, and healthy fat.
3. Now it’s time for the “cook” the kale by massaging: With clean hands, toss the whole lot together, then take big handfuls and squeeze the dressed greens. Keep tossing and squeezing for about one to three minutes. You’ll know the kale is ready when it has significantly shrunk in volume and looks cooked.
4. Let the kale sit and absorb the dressing while you chop your other veggies, nuts and add the other elements of your salad.