Kale is GROSS. Out of all the veggies in the veggie kingdom, in my humble opinion, it is the worst. It’s tough, bitter, and has a really strong grassy flavor. If someone loves kale, they are most likely a lizard-person from the 1983 television series “V”.
But, being that kale is so dang good for you, I began scouring the planet for ways to enjoy it. I steamed, blended, and sauteed… I really wanted to fall in love, but I just couldn’t. Kinda like when I went to see Mamma Mia recently and ended up fighting the urge to punch all the cast members in their bad-singing faces.
Then, on one sunshiney, blue-skied day, I found an amazing recipe that was soooo good… It somehow tricked me into enjoying RAW kale. Raw, you guys. It’s usually the worst when it’s raw! But this recipe utilizes a magical trick: When raw Kale is massaged, the cellulose structure breaks down and the kale becomes more tender and less bitter. Kinda like my good pal Rhea (Hi Rhea)!
Poor, misunderstood kale. He ain’t bitter! He just needs a little lovin’ massage from ya!
So if you want to enjoy raw kale and are interested in a healthy twist on a Caesar salad… Read on…
Massaged Kale Salad
- A huge bowl
- 2 bunches of kale (Note: There are many types of kale to choose from. I’ve only used the curly kale variety so far with this recipe.)
- 1/2 cup freshly-grated Parmesan Cheese
- 1/3 cup Olive Oil
- 1/4 cup lemon juice (Freshly squeezed or out of a bottle…I don’t care!)
- 3 large cloves of garlic, minced (Be careful with this. I’ve found that two works just fine, unless you’re a garlic freak! Quick tip: If you hate chopping garlic, get a garlic press. It will change…yo…life.)
- 1 TB Reduced-Sodium Soy Sauce (Tamari or Coconut Aminos are options for people allergic to soy or gluten)
- 1 minced anchovy fillet (I’ve skipped this ingredient and it still tastes delicious)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
Okie doke. So you want to wash the kale bunches and rip off the leaves into bite-size pieces. Discard the stems because they are tougher than an Olympic gymnast.
Find a way to dry the leaves if you really want the dressing to stick (I use a salad spinner). And don’t freak out about the large amount of kale, it will shrink to about half its size when you’re done.
Now add the kale, Parmesan, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, soy sauce, anchovy, pepper and salt to the kale bits in the large bowl.
Get sexy! Awwww yeaaah…
Light a romantic candle (my kale likes the scent of ylang ylang), put on some Barry White, and start massaging that kale.
Really get your hands in there and squeeze/break down the fibers while you’re mixing in all the ingredients.
You’ll know the kale is ready when it starts turning a darker, shiny green (almost kinda like seaweed but not really) and the amount in the bowl has shrunk by about half its size. See how the kale used to practically fill the bowl and now it only fills about half of the bowl?
And that’s it folks. You’re done. Go ahead… Taste it. SO GOOD. Yes, you can actually enjoy kale without holding your nose and cringing.
Ideas on how to eat it!
Since this recipe makes a lot of kale, you might not be satisfied with eating it as a side for every meal… So here are some suggestions on how to incorporate it into other foods to mix things up!
- Add to a sandwich as a replacement for lettuce
- Add to a wrap with hummus, tomatoes, or any other veggies/meat you like
- Chop it up a bit and throw it into an omelet or your scrambled eggs
- Replace lettuce on a burger
- If the kale salad on its own is too overwhelming, mix in some other greens to mellow the kale flavor such as romaine, spinach, or green-leaf lettuce.
- Chop some up and add it to the filling of enchiladas
- Chop some up and add to a lasagna recipe
- Mix some into a pasta sauce
- Make a dress out of it and call yourself “Lady Kaka”. Then please take pics and send to me.
Kitty won’t eat kale. She is not a lizard person…