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Massaged Kale Salad

Our garden is providing us with an abundance of fresh Kale and I have begun to make this very simple salad that keeps well for at least two days in the refrigerator.
The secret to making a salad with kale is to massage it with the dressing.
Wash it first really well and dry it in a salad spinner and then break it into bite sized pieces and place it into your salad bowl.  I then put a little olive oil onto the palm of my hands and massage the kale for just a minute or so.  Massaging the kale helps to make the tough bitter leaf into sweet and tender leaves which are perfect for salad.

  • enough kale to fill your salad bowl, stems removed, washed and dried and broken into bite sized pieces
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • the juice of one orange
  • the juice of one lemon
  • a drizzle of liquid honey (to taste)
  • fresh cracked salt and pepper
  • sliced or minced red onion
  • 2 carrots, cut into matchsticks ( a mandolin works best) or sliced fresh strawberries
  • dried cranberries and toasted sliced almonds 
  1. Put the kale into a salad bowl and drizzle olive oil over the bite sized pieces to coat them and then massage with your hands for several minutes.
  2. Drizzle the citrus juices, honey and salt and pepper over the salad greens and toss to coat well and adjust the sweetness and the salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Add the red onion and the carrots and then refrigerate until serving.
  4. Just before serving, give the salad a good toss and top with the dried cranberries and toasted sliced almonds.


  1. I didn't know kale could taste good, but the secret is to massage the kale and let it sit for a few hours. Another good dressing is olive oil and balsamic vinegar, then right before serving top with goat cheese and raspberries. Who knew kale could taste great!

  2. That's interesting about the kale. We've been watching some PBS programming "Tales from The Green Valley" where a discussion of the importance of kale in the Welsh winter diet was discussed. I don't believe that she mentioned the massage bit.

  3. I just massaged kale for the first time last night. It's actually a good idea to massage it with either lemon juice or vinegar, plus olive oil, plus salt. The salt and vinegar/lemon juice help to actually break down/tenderize the kale and the olive oil makes it easier to massage.

  4. If a substance has to be massaged with expensive oils and tenderizers before it's edible, isn't nature trying to tell me something?


  5. I didn't have the ingredients to make the complete salad but I used my kale and massaged the olive oil on it. It is tasty. Thank you for the reciepe

  6. Just made it, subbing pineapple juice for the oj, adding some pineapple, and skipping the onion. Delicious. Served with grilled salmon and smashed, roasted redskins. Thanks for a great recipe!


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