Everyone likes a good massage. Including non-humans . . . like kale. There are two salads I make regularly: massaged kale salad and Cesar salad. If you eat at my house, chances are you will partake of one of these McKenna table traditions.
The massaged kale salad is easy to make and children are encouraged to help, as it is messy and feels slightly mischievous.
Especially when mom wants to do a photo shoot on the couch.
I never liked raw kale until I met this salad. Apparently, a co-worker of my husband tasted it and thought the Engineer would really enjoy its flavor due to his rather limiting Psoriatic Arthritis diet. I’m not sure who likes it better — me or the Engineer. And I’ll be upfront with you — the kids aren’t fans of the leafy green salad. They prefer kale to be cooked into the consistency of a chip or even better, pulverized in a smoothie. Fine by me. The Engineer and I make a meal of this fresh bounty, especially when a package of uncured turkey bacon is sprinkled on top.
- 1 bunch of Kale — we are talking a LARGE bunch. Remove ribs and tear into bit sized pieces
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan (optional) I take DiGize essential oil with every meal to support optimal digestion and can tolerate the cheese as it adds so much taste!
- 1/3 cup of olive oil (my favorite is Chaffin Family Orchards)
- 1/4 cup of lemon juice (I’m a fan of Costco’s)
- 1/4 tsp or more of Celtic Sea Salt
- pepper to taste
- approximately 4 cloves of garlic (I typically use Costco’s minced garlic)
Gently wash the kale. While it looks like I am using my salad spinner, it really only serves as a holding tank for the kale as I rip it from the rib. I rinse it in filtered water and then lay it out on a fresh towel and pat the kale dry. The most important part of this salad that gives it such a fresh, vibrant, nutritious taste is keeping the kale firm and not crumpling it by being aggressive if your handling.
In a wooden bowl (this is my preference — it was a wedding present), mix the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper.
Using your clean hands, massage the salad. I like to start at the side of the bowl and slither my hands down to the bottom and gently turn the salad up towards the top. Continue kneading the salad for 4 minutes. Be forewarned, the kale will significantly reduce down to about half its original size.
Add the optional Parmesan and taste. Then decide if you need to add any more salt or pepper.
The Massaged Kale Salad easily stands alone as your main course, especially when topped with turkey bacon or chicken strips and gluten free Mary’s Gone Crackers (which we order on Prime Day!)