In September of 2010 a friend delivered to me the most delicious kale salad that I never got to try. Through circumstances beyond my control, it sat in my fridge, forgotten and alone, so I had to throw it out. Luckily, this same friend lovingly created another batch of this Sweet and Tart Kale Salad after I gave birth to Harper in 2012. Two years later, I finally take my first bite of this super food and my eyes were opened to how kale could be transformed into something unbelievably delicious.
I was a skeptic on kale until 2012, and this recipe changed my mind. Today I make it regularly to go alongside a simple protein like baked salmon or grilled chicken. I use an entire bunch of curly leaf dinosaur kale with its pungent, peppery flavor and store the leftovers in the fridge for lunch the next day.
The trick is to sprinkle over kosher salt, good olive oil and fresh lemon before messaging the leaves with your fingers, turning them bright green while they soften.
Kale should have a fresh green color with moist, crisp, unwilted leaves. Young, small-leaved specimens are more tender; bigger leaves are well suited for use in soups.
Keep in a plastic bag in the fridge. Kale becomes increasingly bitter and strongly flavored the longer it is kept and so is best eaten soon after buying.
1 bunch dinosaur kale
Olive oil (I like California Olive Ranch evoo)
Slivered almonds (or another seed or nut of your choice)
Craisins (or another dried fruit of your choice)
Remove and discard the thick stems from the leaves, tearing as you go so you have manageable bite size pieces.
I like to use a salad spinner to rinse the leaves, then spin dry to clean the kale thoroughly.
Squeeze over half a lemon (you can always add more lemon later to suite your taste), then sprinkle over a good pinch of coarse kosher salt which will help break down the kale when you massage the leaves. Drizzle about a tablespoon of good olive oil, remove your jewelry and dig in with your hands.
Gently massage the leaves between your fingers (do not squeeze) and watch as the color becomes bright green and leaves slightly more tender.
After 3-5 minutes, taste and adjust your seasonings to your preferences. From here you could add a totally different vinaigrette like Caesar or honey mustard.
I like to add 1/4 cup dried cranberries, and a handful of raw slivered almonds. You could use pumpkin seeds, dried or fresh mango, candied pecans - really whatever you may have lurking in your pantry.
This salad will keep for a few days in the fridge if you don't over massage the kale.
Kale and other Brassica family vegetables such as cabbage and Brussels sprouts are rich in calcium, lutein, iron, beta-carotene, and Vitamins A, C, and K. I was surprised to learn that a single serving of Kale provides 192% of the recommended daily amount of Vitamin A, which can act as a preventative against lung diseases.