Massaged Kale Salad
Salad seems to be a "go-to" item for people attempting to eat clean and healthy. The problem with salads is that you typically can't prepare them in advance due to wilting and the unfortunate sogginess that occurs when you add other items to wet lettuce. Fortunately, there is a salad that doesn't just withstand the preparation process but actually enhances in flavor and texture as it sits, for days... This massaged kale salad is very simple and nutrient dense.
Kale is so versatile as it can be steamed, sautéed, added to soups, or simply eaten in it's raw form. It's packed with antioxidants and flavonoids which are known to lower cholesterol, fight cancer and inflammation, and support in detoxification. Since many people are finding they have trouble digesting cruciferous, or highly fibrous, vegetables such as kale the key to this recipe is the "massage". By using your fingers to really work the oil and lemon into the leaves you're doing some of the digestion work before it enters your mouth. I add a little almond meal to my recipe which allows the oil and lemon to adhere nicely to the leaves and coats them more evenly.
You can store this salad in the refrigerator and eat it within the next few days. It actually tastes better once the flavors have had a chance to infuse. Feel free to add anything you like. I topped this one with a soft boiled egg and some prosciutto. It’s good with blacked chicken, capers, olives, anything really.
1 bushel of kale (I prefer the dino variety but you can use any hardy varietal)
1 whole lemon
2-3 cloves garlic (minced)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4-1/2 cup almond meal
shredded semi or hard cheese, (I used a semi-hard sheep's milk cheese for this)
sea salt & white pepper to taste
Soak kale in cool water and hang it dry over the sink while chopping the garlic. Tear the kale apart discarding the stems and tough veins. Be sure to really wring out the leaves with your fingers to dispel any excess water. Don’t be afraid to use pressure because the best way to enjoy this salad is when you’ve put the time into really massaging the kale. Once you’ve pulled it apart and placed it in a bowl, add the oil, garlic, lemon, salt and pepper and start working them into the tough leaves. You’ll notice the color will turn vibrant green and the texture will soften. Add the almond meal and shredded cheese over the salad and toss one last time. Top with whatever you're in the mood for and enjoy.