Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Massaging the Kale and Other G-Rated Kitchen Fun.

I could hardly resist that title now, could I? 

This was a salad I had at Sylvia's Sunday evening.  It was so good, I had three helpings.  And it was so good for me, that I didn't feel guilty about having three helpings.  The recipe is from Taproot Magazine, a new quarterly magazine that is on the "precious" side.  But the recipe is awesome.

The recipe called for:

A large bunch of kale (I had most of a large bag of chopped kale)
A teaspoon of sea salt (which, amazingly, I did have)
1/3 cup sunflower seeds, toasted (did not have - used toasted, chopped pecans)
1/4 cup diced red onion (did not have - used minced shallot)
1/3 cup currants (did not have - used dried cranberries)
3/4 cup diced apple, about a half-apple (surprise! I did have an apple - and used the whole thing)
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons unfiltered apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled (did not have, used feta)

As you can see from the above, just because I want to make a recipe, doesn't necessarily mean I have any of the ingredients called for.  This, however, never stops me.

Since I did not have a 'bunch' of kale, but a bag of chopped kale, I was not able to chiffonade them (roll the leaves and cut into ribbons).  I imagine that, using fresh-from-the-garden kale would lend itself to a more juicy, tender end product.  But the process is very interesting:

One pound bag of chopped kale and LARGE bowl.

Sprinkle teaspoon of salt into bowl of kale.

Halfway through the massage.

End result.
Since I needed both hands for the camera, I couldn't show you the massaging process.  You basically squeeze handfuls and knead and press together.  You can feel the leaves begin to soften and it turns bright green.  It is an amazing process.  After the two-minute massage, put the kale in a fresh bowl.  Stir in the onion, currants, apple and toasted seeds.  Dress with olive oil and vinegar.  The author of the recipe urges you to "get messy and dirty"; use your hands.  However, other than the massage therapy, I am not a messy, dirty hands user.  It's a quirk.  You can either get one-to-one with your salad or use a large wooden spoon to make sure the dressing evenly coats the kale.  Add the cheese at the end.  It is even better the next day. 

I was going to demonstrate bathing and diapering baby carrots, but I ran out of time.  Heeheehee.


  1. Your timing is perfect~I just bought a bunch of kale yesterday and didn't have a clue what to do with it! I don't think I've even tried it before but the store was out of organic Swiss chard, so I bought Mister asked "why?" I can tell him! :) Thanks for the recipe!

  2. Hey I have a whole set of those bowls! Great looking salad. Now what does "precious" mean in when referring to a magazine. Hey, I talk to animals all day, what do I know?

  3. Hmmm - interesting. I might actually give this a try. Your blog is so fun (and funny :-).

  4. Kim - You will love this salad! So far, I have had it every day since Sunday and I'm not tired of it.

    Jane - I talk to my animals more often than I talk to people. So what's crazy about that? Precious in that the terms described include "telling" your coconut that it must hold together and referring to mixing with your hands as "messy and dirty". I take umbrage to dirty - my kale was clean!

    CSL - Ditto, my dear! Do try it - it's actually fun with your food kind of stuff.

  5. As I've never grown, eaten or probably never even SEEN kale, I'd have no idea what to do with it. Is the Massaging a normal thing to do with Kale? Or is this just an added benefit that your "veggies" receive once they come into your kitchen?

  6. CR - Heavens, girl! Never eaten kale??? This is the first time I've massaged my kale. I usually chop it up, add cranberries, nuts, cheese and dressing and eat it raw. Or braise it. Or bake it. Or steam it. I eat a LOT of kale. I have to say I am now quite taken with massaging my kale - it removes some of the bitterness and breaks it down a bit.

  7. Wow, it's like you "cooked it down" without cooking it! Cool!! I had never eaten kale until I started growing it in my garden! LOL!! I LOVE it!

  8. Sounds delish! I have simmered it with a little fresh lemon juice, water, then added a little bacon, oh my! $25.00 for a subscription, hack, hack!

  9. "Chiffonade them"? That's a new one for me; I'm learning something! Actually the whole process of salting and massaging kale is new to me. I do have plenty of kale. Not too sure about the combo with onion and apple though.

  10. I think I shall have to try this! Thanks for making me laugh.

  11. OH MY.........I just wrote my blog and it is so similar to yours! Forgive me.

  12. Ha! I read Sylvia's blog first and then yours . . . I thought you had copied the same copy!! Great minds you both must have.

    This recipe sounds so intriguing I just have to try it as soon as my kale is ready for harvest. (That would be after I plant it, too!) Wonder if it will work with my Lacinato kale as that's all I grow. It's a more smooth leaved variety, not are curly as yours pictured.

    Rest assured, when I do make it, I will think of you as I massage the devil out of it. ;o]

  13. I must say it looks good. I generally toss, not massage ;-)

  14. I still have kale coming out of my garden...I might try this for supper...amazingly I do have the ingredients! But, I'm like you, and if I don't have them, I

    I love it--massaging the kale. The salting pulls moisture out of the leaves I'd guess, making then crisper and yummy.

    I ALWAYS play with my food....