Recipe: Massaged Kale Salad

by Melissa

We have all heard of kale and how healthy it is, but many of us don’t know the best way to eat it.  In the past, I have always eaten it in chip form.  I just break it into pieces, add a little bit of whichever seasoning sounds good and some olive oil.  I bake that at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or so. 

Recently I was at a conference and with lunch, they served a massaged kale salad.  My coworkers and I joked about the visual of massaging kale, but when I dove into the salad I was pleasantly surprised.  The kale was delicious, easy to chew, and held the dressing well.  I quickly googled recipes for a massaged kale salad, and my search results did not disappoint. Below you will find my recipe.  This was inspired by many different recipes; I just combined things I like from each recipe to make this one my own. 

Why massaged kale? In its natural state, kale is a very tough leaf which makes it hard to chew raw.  Sure, it is great for cooking, but when we want it in a salad, massaging it is the way to go. 

So how do you massage kale? Begin by de-stemming the kale, and chopping it into bite size pieces or strips for your salad.  Spritz with lemon juice vinegar or oil.  Using your hands, crunch the kale leaves between your hands.  Do not over massage.  The kale will begin to weaken.  Taste test a few to determine if you have massaged it enough!

I have also included a recipe for my favorite maple vinaigrette to add!

Massaged Kale Salad

  • 6 Cups Kale-de stemmed and chopped
  • ½ cup crumbled blue cheese
  • ¼ cup chopped walnuts
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries
  • Maple Vinaigrette to taste

Maple Vinaigrette

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper


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