Monday, February 2, 2009

Greens Series - Day 1 - Relaxed Kale Salad

Welcome to my first blog series! This week I am going to focus on greens. Greens are one of the most nutritious things you can eat, packed with vitamins and minerals and even protein and fiber. Everyone knows they should probably eat more of them, but it's hard when you only know one or two ways to prepare them. That is where this series comes in. Each day this week I'm going to prepare a different recipe for various green leafy things, exploring many different varieties as well as cooking techniques.

First up we have an unusual raw kale preparation. It's called "Relaxed" Kale Salad because the action of massaging the kale with a little salt and extra virgin olive oil wilts down the tough raw kale leaves significantly and makes them tender enough to eat without cooking. The original recipe can be found here: There is a video about the salad at the link that is pretty cute. I usually use regular green curly kale in this, but I also like using red curly kale, which gives it a nice color. I've never tried using lacinato (dino) kale for this, so if you give that a try let me know how it works out!

Relaxed Kale Salad

1 bunch of kale
1-1/2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 tart crisp apple, such as gala or fuji
1/4 cup roughly chopped walnuts

2 T balsamic vinegar
2 T extra virgin olive oil
1/2 T (1-1/2 tsp) raw honey
1/2 T (1-1/2 tsp) brown or Dijon mustard

Remove the stems from the kale and give it a rough chop. Put the kale in a large mixing bowl and drizzle with the olive oil and salt. Massage the kale with your hands for 5-7 minutes until it wilts down significantly and becomes tender.

I started with a bowl of kale that looked like this:

And after massaging I ended up with this:

Roughly chop the apple and walnuts and add to the greens. Whisk all the dressing ingredients together and pour over the salad. Toss to distribute. You can eat it right away, but it will also keep in the fridge for at least a day or two. The kale is more than sturdy enough to hold the dressing for that long and the flavor can even improve with time. The only thing to watch out for if you want to hold it in the fridge is that the some of the apples can become a little mealy.

I've enjoyed this salad immensely ever since I started making it two years ago. I hope you'll give it a try!


Posts in the Greens Series:
Relaxed Kale Salad
Spinach Pesto
Baby Bok Choy with Ginger
Broiled Kale
Southern Style Collards


Darcey Blue said...

oh man, that is awesome and sounds fabulous!! i saw someone do this to dandelion leaves once to reduce the bitterness, but i haven't used it as a prep technique. I have a lot of red kale in my garden. I'll try it this week! Mybe toss in some chard too... or kohlrabi greens. YUM! kudos!

Mark said...

Looks great! Too bad I used up all my kale last night for dinner (just sauteed it with EVOO and added a little white balsamic vinegar).

Elizabeth said...

Shamana - Yes, I bet this would work well on lots of different greens!

Jumpow - Your kale sounds good too!

Yummy said...

I have been meaning to try this massaged kale technique for some time now! I saw a video for it on some raw foodie website a while back. I love kale! My fav is dino kale. I just haven't tried massaging it yet. haha! Thanks for the inspiration. I'll have to pick up some kale this week at the FM.

Bombolino said...

I forgot to remove the stems, but it still tastes great. Thanks for this!

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