Thursday, December 10, 2009

Let them eat kale!

I first heard of "massaged kale" from Marco's wife as we were making dinner together on my way through Olympia, WA. I was intrigued as much by the name -- good lord, after all of the biking I've been doing these days, the word "massage" evokes a whimsical sigh before I can stop myself (over 7 months and not so much as a footrub from any of the woodland creatures I've chatted with) -- as by the idea of eating raw kale. By the time I arrived at Yochi's house in Eugene, OR, I'd been thinking about massaged kale, which I'd yet to try out, for a solid week. Fortuitously, Yochi's CSA share the previous week left him with a rather sizeable bunch of kale and a pile of onions. I rummaged around my miscellaneous food stash to locate some dried cranberries, an apple, and raw almonds. A quick internet search and bit of tinkering later, our Thanksgiving meal had a novel addition, and it only got more flavorful by the next day. I give you...
"Let Them Eat Kale" Salad
(Serves 4-6 as a side dish)
Wash, remove the tough stalks from, and chop one large bunch of fresh, organic kale.
Put chopped kale into a large bowl and add a spoonful of salt. (Try between 1 tsp and 1 TBSP -- honestly, it depends on how much kale, what variety, and how tough it is.)
Toast a handful of nuts (almonds worked best, but sunflower seeds weren't bad, either) in a dry pan on the stove or on a cookie sheet in the oven for about 5 minutes. Cool, chop, and set aside.
Meanwhile, massage salt into the kale with your hands for about 5 minutes, until the kale is about 1/2 to 1/3 its original bulk and darker in color. (Don't be shy, get right in there with your knuckles. Like a good back rub. Ahhh, a back rub. Oh. Sorry.)
Add in:
• 1/2 small onion or 1 shallot, thinly sliced
• 1 apple, cored and thinly sliced
• 1 or 2 TBSP apple cider (or balsamic) vinegar
• a handful of dried cranberries (I think raisins or chopped apricots would work) or 2 sliced, ripe persimmons
• 1 TBSP olive oil
• freshly ground black pepper
• the chopped, toasted nuts
• 1/4 cup chevre or other soft, mild goat cheese (you can omit this to make it vegan, but it's darn tasty)
Stir everything together, serve, and enjoy!
I'm telling you, by the second or third day in the fridge, it's even better. (Yochi, back me up here.) I've made it three times already, including tonight with the mix of 3 kale varieties we harvested at Deep Seeded Community Farm earlier today. I know what I'm having for breakfast #1 tomorrow....

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry


  1. That sounds delicious. I now know what I'm going to do with that beautiful bunch of kale waiting in the fridge!

  2. true, it was absolutely delicious! the massaging made it very soft. i have found that all the fresh, local food i eat needs much less cooking than the conventional stuff.

  3. Yes! And it seems good old dad is excited to try out the recipe as well. This may be a new Vincent family staple....

  4. Hi Ibti!
    Thanks so much for the kale salad demo this past Saturday! It will definitely be added to our weekly rotation when we choose to abuse our greens by squeezing them rather than cooking them! I made the salad for lunch that afternoon, and blogged about it the next day, which was my first blog posting in about a year, so thanks for the inspiration!
    Ganbaru Cook's Take on Massaged Kale Salad


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