MASSAGED KALE AND APPLE SALAD

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I first had this wonderful salad several years ago at our friend Sylvia’s 60th birthday party. Our mutual friend Shelley had prepared the salad, and the first words out of her mouth to me that evening were “Patti, you have just got to try this salad”! And ever the one to comply with a friend’s request, especially if it involves food, I gladly gave in to her summons. You know how you feel when you are experiencing a life changing moment and are wise enough to realize it, that’s what happened to me at Sylvia’s party. I knew instantly that I had met an ingredient that would forever become a part of my life. And it has. I use kale in casseroles, side dishes, soups, and of course salads. (I have yet to use kale in any desserts, but give me time. It could happen yet!)

And whoever thought to massage kale to remove the bitterness is nothing less than a genius. When Shelley told me how she had massaged the kale, I was thunder struck. First of all, I had never seen kale for sale in the grocery store. It was simply something green that lined the dishes and bowls in the deli case. You didn’t eat that stuff; it was just for presentation. (In much the same way parsley was used as a garnish until people discovered not only its health benefits, but how a last minute sprinkle of parsley freshens the flavor of almost any kind of savory.)

Thus it was for me with kale. I started exploring recipes that contained kale. I quickly found that kale had taken the place of spinach in many recipes previously featuring vitamin C rich Amaranthaceae.   I personally love spinach with a passion. But I certainly understand substituting massaged kale for spinach because children especially don’t like the oxalic acid taste of spinach. I simply started using kale in addition to spinach and chard because I just love me my greens!

So consider making this salad for your family or friends in the near future. It’s easy to prepare, has tons of healthy ingredients in it, and the flavor is extraordinary.

And thank you again Shelley for introducing me to kale. And if I remember correctly, the recipe originated at PCC. So thanks to PCC too! (Oh, and sorry for the couple of changes I made.)

For more kale recipes, search under “Kale” on the home page of this site. Also search under “soup”, because many of my favorite recipes containing kale are in the soup section.

  • 1 bunch curly kale, de-stemmed, cut into bite sized pieces, washed, and spun dry in a salad spinner
  • ½ tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 c. finely diced red cabbage
  • ¼ c. diced red onion, opt.
  • ½ c. currants or finely chopped raisins
  • 1 apple, finely diced (I use Honey Crisp or Opal, if available)
  • ½ c. sunflower seeds, toasted
  • ¼ c. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 T. apple cider vinegar
  • 1/3 c. gorgonzola, blue, or feta cheese, crumbled

Place kale in a large mixing bowl. Add salt and rub the kale pieces together with your fingers for about 2 minutes or until the leaves turn a darker color as the tough cellulose structure breaks down. (Massaging kale actually eliminates the bitter taste making it a perfect green for almost any salad.) Add the cabbage, onion, currants, apple, and sunflower seeds. In a small container whisk the olive oil and vinegar together. Gently stir into the kale mixture. Adjust salt and vinegar. Just before serving, toss in the crumbled cheese.  

Please let me know if you like this recipe. Thanks