Though I have enjoyed kale for a long time, it wasn’t until I made this salad that I truly understood it. That might sound like a strange thing to say about a vegetable, but I’ll tell you why it’s accurate.
I had heard the phrase “massaging kale” on several cooking shows. I knew the gist of what it meant, but I didn’t think it was very important. One day I decided to make a kale salad with leftover kale and I thought, “Alright, I’ll try this out!” From that point on, I decided I’d never eat kale without massaging it first.
Just as we feel better after a massage, kale tastes better! Raw kale can be very tough and fibrous to eat, but a little olive oil, lemon juice, and work can really transform raw kale into a delicious and healthy salad.
Massaging the Kale
You can purchase a bag of pre-shredded kale or you can buy kale still on the stems. Either way you purchase it, you will want to remove the stems or bits of stems. I sift through and remove them as I find them during the process. Once you have removed the stems in whatever capacity, add your olive oil and lemon juice. With clean or gloved hands, gently scrunch the kale between your fingers. You’ll want to do this for about 3 minutes or so. I personally judge when to stop when I see the texture change and color change in the kale, then I know I’m done. The kale will look brighter and not as tough.
Massaging the kale is the key to this recipe! Everything else you can modify.
6 cups chopped kale
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 and a half tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 small clove minced garlic or about 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 cup grated vegan parmesan cheese ( I use Follow Your Heart brand)
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1/2 teaspoon salt
Black pepper to taste
Wash, remove stems, and chop kale if using stalks. If using kale that is already chopped and in a bag, pour into a large bowl and remove stems.
Add olive oil and lemon juice and massage the kale. (See above for exact directions.)
Add remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly.
The kale will look bright, fresh, and delicious! Let it sit in the fridge for about an hour to let the flavors mingle. Taste before serving, adding more salt or pepper, if necessary. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days.