I love kale.
There are many different kinds of kale, but I’d say the two most common varieties are Curly and Lacinato (also known as Dinosaur kale…look at it and you will figure out why).
The trick with kale is all in how you prepare it. Kale can be really tough and in my opinion, if you are going to eat it raw, you really need to marinate it (otherwise known as “squish the heck out of I and wait.”). Here is my recipe for my favorite way to make kale salad:
3 bunches of kale (I used Lacinato)
3 tangerines, 1 orange or 1 lemon (depending on if you want it sweet or more lemony)
2 Tbs olive oil
2-4 Tbs white balsamic vinegar
1/4 – 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
1/4 – 1/2 cup chopped candied nuts (for my recipe click here)
1/4 cup dried cranberries (optional…I left them out today)
Salt and pepper to taste
Soak the kale in the sink in cold water to clean
Soaking In Water
After the kale has been cleaned, it needs to be finely chopped (like you would chop cabbage for coleslaw). The stems/backbone of the kale can be tough. There are a few options to handle this. You can either chop off the lower portion of the kale and save it for later use (I did this tonight since I know I will be putting it in my juicer in the morning)
Cut Off The Ends
Or you can place the kale face down on the chopping board and cut off the spine (more work). You would then line up the kale dog-pile style and start chopping.
Trim The Spine
Once you have chopped all of the kale, it is a good idea to put it through the salad spinner to get rid of any excess liquid. When the kale is good and dry, place it into a big bowl. I bought this salad bowl a few years ago at Party City (of all places) and I use it all the time. I love having a huge bowl so I don’t have to worry about making a huge mess.
Chopped Kale In The Bowl and Reserved Ends for Tomorrow's Juice
Add the citrus juice, olive oil, vinegar, red onion, and some salt and pepper in with the kale (don’t go overboard with the salt and pepper…you can adjust the seasoning at the end).
I Used Cuties
Now it is time to mash and smoosh the kale. Get in there with your hands and get messy. You don’t have to be gentle with it, remember it is tough. Mash for a few minutes and then leave it in the bowl to marinate (for as little as 10 minutes to as long as overnight…it doesn’t get soggy like other salads tend to).
Smoosh Smash Crush
You will be amazed by how much the salad has decreased in size. It will be atleast 1/2 the size it was before you marinated it.
Right before you are ready to serve the salad chop up the avocado and add it in to the bowl. When I made the salad tonight this is when I also added in the red onion…woops…I usually make it like I said in this post and add the onion in when it all marinates since it makes the flavors stronger. Smash it all up again with your hands. This is what it going to give the salad that nice creamy taste.
Ready For The Second Round of Smooshing
At this point taste the salad, you may have to make some flavor adjustments by adding more balsamic vinegar, salt, or pepper.
Top the salad with the chopped nuts and dried cranberries.
My son had two servings of this salad tonight.
For a printable version of this recipe click here