Sunday, January 11, 2009

Massaged Kale Salad with Grated Root Vegetables and Avocado

All you cold-weather-dwellers, now would be the time to eat your kale raw. We know, we know--it's cold, and all you want to do is curl up by the fire and cry about not being in California. But kale gets really sweet and delicious when it's been exposed to frost, and that means winter kale is ideal for raw consumption.

Our previous raw kale salad recipes have been really strict about using dino or Russian kale, but we took a chance with the readily-available curly green kind on the suggestion of a loyal reader named Chuck who emailed us his massaged kale salad recipe. So, we stand corrected: use whatever kind of kale you want to make raw salads, as long as you give it a nice, luxurious rub-down. We even got our two-year-old niece massaging kale, so all you readers who have small kids afoot when you're cooking, think of this as a sanctioned opportunity for them to play with their food.

Finally, feel free to be creative with the elements of this salad: try substituting crumbled goat cheese for the avocado, celeriac or parsnips for the root vegetables, and sunflower seeds or nuts for the sesame seeds.

For the salad:
1 large bunch curly green kale, washed, de-stemmed and chopped (about 5 cups)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 carrot, grated
1/2 a large rutabaga, grated
1 avocado, sliced
2 scallions, minced
1 teaspoon black or white sesame seeds

For the dressing:
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon agave nectar or honey

In a large bowl, pour olive oil and salt over kale. Take off your rings and watch, roll up your sleeves, and massage the oil and salt into the kale for 2-3 minutes, until the kale starts to break down and wilt. The kale can benefit from having a half hour of relaxation after its massage, but that isn't strictly required. Top with carrot, rutabaga, avocado , scallions and sesame seeds. Mix together dressing ingredients and toss with the salad.


Ingrid said...

Lovely kale salad, thanks for sharing.

I Heart Kale said...

Thanks, Ingrid!

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Patricia Hecker said...

Found your kale blog last night. Your recipes sound so wonderfully fresh it was like getting a new cookbook!
I've added you to my blog roll!
Love to the gluten free recipes since my husband has celiac disease.


I Heart Kale said...

Welcome, Pat--thanks for visiting!

h0n0r said...

I thought you were kidding about the sweet frosted kale, but no! My green curly kale was candy-sweet (I nibbled some as I chopped it up for stir frying) so I saved the other half of the bunch for a salad later in the week. Mmm.

I Heart Kale said...

Yay! See, we're really telling the truth when we say kale is yummy.

aartilla the fun said...

just came across your site... love the kale salad recipe (i make one with raw swiss chard and i was surprised by how yummy it is). what does the "massaging" do?

I Heart Kale said...

Thanks for visiting! Massaging the kale will soften it and break it down, almost to the same consistency as if you cooked it lightly. We haven't tried it with chard, but that's a great idea!

aartilla the fun said...

yeah! take a look and tell me what you think!

Julianne said...

We'll be trying this recipe out in the Dirt to Dinner kitchen this weekend. We have some lovely Russian Red that has been exposed to frost several days this week and should be perfect!


Julianne said...

We tried your salad with the Dirt to Dinner class this week and it was wonderful! It looked like an impressionist painting when it was ready to serve. The kids prepared it with roasted root vegetables and the meal was delightful and rapidly enjoyed by all. Thank you!

I Heart Kale said...

Yay! So glad you liked it.

Anonymous said...

Kale salads are a staple for me. Here's a favorite:

About 2 cups of green or red curly leaf kale, or a combination
1 cup of grated raw beets
1/2 carrot, diced,
diced red onion to taste
2 walnuts, broken into pieces
Marinate the salad (preferably for 4-5 hours at room temperature) in:
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp. cold-pressed olive oil
1 tsp. mellow white miso
1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
(black pepper optional)

Massage the dressing into the greens. It will act as a tenderizer. A nice addition is minced cremeni mushrooms.

I Heart Kale said...

Thanks for the recipe--sounds delicious! Miso is always a good idea.

Jennifer said...

This salad is delicious! I'm eating it now on my couch :-) The honey was a nice touch. Thanks for the recipe!

I Heart Kale said...

Thanks Jennifer! Glad you liked it.

Ben said...

i made this salad last night. I think its the first time I've had Kale and rutabaga. Wow is all I can say. incredible dish. I will make this when I have dinner guests. thank you for the recipe!

I Heart Kale said...

Thanks Ben! Glad you liked it.

Andrew CHang said...

hey! I made this for the first time tonight, I used celeriac instead of rutabaga and added 3/4 cup chopped cashews and some grated romano to add the fat and richness lost by omitting the avocado. It was great, even the greens-avoiders at dinner had to admit it was pretty dang good. many thanks!

I Heart Kale said...

Thanks! We always love to hear about greens-avoiders eating their kale :)

Sarah said...

Sounds good! I have not tried massaged kale yet, but I think I will today. btw... I am in Northern California too!

Angela said...

Thank you for this. I have been searching for "how to massage kale". I'm doing it tomorrow!

DMo said...

Once again-the Massaged Kale Salad is a big hit! Every time I make this and bring it to a party-everyone asks for the recipe-so I've been sending them to your site. Thanks for the great recipe!

Excellent kale recipe said...

This kale salad looks delicious! Too bad I have already eaten dinner, because I could totally go for something like that now. If you don't mind, I'd like to repost the recipe on my site It's in its early stages, but it's going to be a much bigger tribute to one of my favorite vegetables!

I Heart Kale said...

Feel free to repost as long as you give credit and provide the link :-)