Friday, June 28, 2013

Give Your Veggies a Massage: Kale Salad

My kale looked like Russian Red.
Courtesy of Skyfire Gardens Seeds
I recently recommended this kale salad recipe to a friend and it sparked my desire to make it again, so I picked up some kale at the farmers' market over the weekend. The kale wasn't labeled so I'm not sure what type it is, but I'm certain it's not curly and it's not lacinato/dino.  It might be Russian Red kale.


Eating Well Magazine Massaged Kale Salad

The only customization I made was to use a little less oil, less Parmesan cheese, and skipped the salt since I figured my non-reduced-sodium soy sauce and anchovy paste would be enough.

I'm not sure how big a bunch of kale is officially supposed to be, so I picked up two from a stand and figured I'd go with it. 


  • 2 bunches kale
  • 1/4-1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 3 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 minced anchovy fillet or 1/2 teaspoon anchovy paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper


Wash and rinse your kale.  This is a good time to use a salad spinner, I'm glad I've got one during farmers' market season since otherwise I'm spoiled by the pre-rinsed bags of greens at the grocery store.  We picked up a nice Zyliss salad spinner at a rummage sale a few years ago for 50 cents and it has been great. We can wash some greens and stick the whole container in the fridge until we want to use it since the flat lid makes it easy to stack other containers on top.  I put it in the sink to help hold it down while I pull the handle to activate the "spin cycle". 

After washing and rinsing, tear your kale into small pieces and put into your biggest and widest bowl/container.  I used a 4-qt. (4.4liters) bowl from a set of Pyrex nesting bowls, which is quite large.  You can cut the kale with a knife, but I find it satisfying to rip it up.  Ripping the kale into a small size is important to me, I hate it when I have a salad out at a restaurant and it is filled with huge pieces.  So there I am, trying to shove a 6-inch square of lettuce in my mouth while still trying to look hot.  Not easy! 

Also avoid the stringy ribs/veins, they won't breakdown much.  I folded my leaves in half the long way and pulled the leaves off the other side. 
Tear the kale into bite-sized pieces.

One bunch of kale done, another to rip up.

Two bunches of kale in a big 4-quart bowl.
Toss all the rest of the ingredients on top and then get to massaging that salad.  I wasn't sure how long to massage since it looked pretty good only after a little bit of kneading action, but I did it for two minutes just to ensure it broke down the leaves. 
Adding anchovy paste from a tube.

After massaging, the volume drops significantly.
The kale will crumple up and reduce in size.  My refrigerator is so packed full of food right now that I had to move it to a smaller bowl anyway.  I went from the largest 4-qt. bowl down two sizes to the 1.5-qt/1.4 liter bowl. 
Transferred the final salad to a much smaller bowl.


Getting your greens never tasted so good! 

I love all the garlic in this recipe.  You could add some chopped nuts to add some texture.  This would also be great with a grilled chicken breast on top or a hearty fish like salmon.

There was a bit of dressing at the bottom of the bowl when I transferred this over, so I think you could easily use 3 bunches of kale and use the original full measurements and be fine. 

Wanna Chat?

I turned off the 'leave a comment' feature, so if you want to share what you're thinking about this or anything else, drop me an email at jhk1013 (at) It's so much more cozy than a comment, plus we can have a real conversation!