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.