Who doesn’t love a good massage? Well, my kale is loving one right now as I’m getting ready to prepare a delicious kale salad tossed with pistachios, cherry tomatoes, and juicy Kalamata olives. But why am I massaging the kale first?
If you’ve ever had a raw kale salad, you might have noticed that the kale was a little bitter and its texture a little coarse. However, if you massage the kale for only about five minutes, it will begin to soften and wilt. This seems to break down its dense cellulose structure leaving it easier to digest and much tastier.
Kale is a powerhouse of nutrients. It’s an excellent source of A, C and K vitamins, calcium, fiber, and antioxidants. But if you’ve been on the fence about joining the kale craze because of the plant’s slightly bitter taste, this recipe might convince you to give it a try.
First off, how on earth do you massage kale? It’s quite simple.
Today, I have half of a pound of curly kale. I’ve also used this massaging method with Lacinato kale. It should mellow the texture and taste of all types of kale.
Whatever type of kale you are using, make sure you have enough for however many salads you plan to make. The volume will shrink to about half after the kale is massaged.
First, wash the leaves and remove the leaves from the stems. Here’s an easy way to zip them off the stems.
Hold the stem in one hand and slide the fingers of the other hand down the center of the stem. The leaves slip right off. Try it. It’s fun.
Now, wash the leaves again and place them in a large bowl. Add oil, lemon juice, and salt. Then, as if you were kneading dough, start massaging those leaves. After about two minutes, you will actually feel their tough structure breaking down. Continue to massage, rubbing the leaves together and tearing them apart. You’ll notice the leaves turning a deeper green.
Go ahead and taste the kale now. The flavor will have mellowed. You’ll find the once bitter taste has been transformed to a lightly sweet and nutty taste. This is when you know your kale is ready.
Massaged kale will keep in the fridge for a few days so this is a perfect salad to make-ahead.
Toss the tender kale with chopped pistachios, sliced cherry tomatoes, and Kalamata olives. (If you’re concerned about nuts manufactured on shared equipment with gluten containing products, check out Nuts.com that prominently labels which products of theirs are certified gluten-free).
This refreshing summer salad is best with just a light vinaigrette and a dash of salt.
Go ahead. Give your kale a good massage. 🙂 It just may become your favorite way to enjoy this superfood.
If you found this recipe helpful, please leave a comment below and share with a friend. Have a happy and healthy week!
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- a bunch of kale
- 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
- juice of one lemon
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- pistachio nuts, shelled and chopped
- organic cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
- Kalamata olives
- Wash kale and remove the leaves from the stems.
- Wash the leaves again, and place them in a large bowl. Add oil, lemon juice, and salt. Then as if you were kneading dough, start massaging those leaves. After about 2 minutes you will actually feel their tough structure breaking down. Continue to massage, rubbing the leaves together and tearing them apart. You'll notice the leaves turning a deeper green. The volume will shrink to about half, too.
- After 5 minutes, taste the kale. When you find the once bitter taste has been transformed to a lightly sweet and nutty taste, your kale is ready.
- Toss with chopped pistachios, sliced cherry tomatoes, and olives. Serve with a light vinaigrette.
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