Have you ever heard of massaging your vegetables?! I kept on hearing about massaged kale salads. And then one day I had one. And I never thought poorly of kale again. The end.
It was on a vacation, a few years ago and we stumbled across the nicest farm to table restaurant in Anacortes, Washington. The restaurant was Adrift (I highly recommend it), and that salad was "Kale Brutus". That salad was memorable. A heaping pile of ribbon-cut kale served in a very large bowl; simply tossed with pepitas and parmesan, with a garlicky Casesar dressing.
Flash forward to today. With the gift of a gardening-friend's bounty of kale this summer, I finally decided to make my own. Now I am wondering why this took me so long!
Looking over recipes online there were a few that added soy sauce, garlic, bacon, cranberries, assorted other veggies, and anchovies. It will be fun to try some of these other combinations, or to just add more tiny cuts of other veggies, or try a few different dressings. But today I was going for simple; just six ingredients:
I cleaned, dried, then cut the kale in 1/4 inch ribbons. There was an overflowing bowl full. Using less than 1 tablespoon of olive oil, I drizzled that over and with 1/2 teaspoon of salt, began rubbing it through the kale leaves. It does get messy and all over your hands.
Think of it as a labor of loving your food and preparing it as deliciously as you can.
After at least 1-2 minutes of massaging the kale leaves, you will start to see the leaves breaking down, getting glossy, and the entire volume become about half that it began as. You can sample it to see if the texture is appealing, and soft enough to eat a whole bowl. If we were dealing with lacinato kale, certainly the massaging of those tough leaves would take longer. The garden fresh kale I used was already a bit more on the delicate side so mine didn't take as long.
When satisfied with the results of your efforts, squeeze a 1/4 lemon over the top, sprinkle a few tablespoons of grated parmesan cheese, and top with pepitas (if that sounds like something you'd like).
I give this dish an A+ for green kale goodness. Kale is considered a superfood. It has iron, calcium, Vitamins C, K, and A. It also has antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids.
I had my delicious bowl aside some parchment cooked fresh caught sockeye (a fringe benefit of living in Alaska), and I could not be a happier camper.
I hope you enjoy the results of massaging your kale!