So here’s the thing about Kale — its super freaking healthy, packed with vitamins and has anti-cancer properties. It’s basically the Superman of vegetables. Unfortunately, like Superman, it can be really boring — there are only so many ways to steam and sauté kale… and though kale chips are delicious, they not very filling. So the solution is to treat it like a lettuce leaf and jazz it up with fun and interesting toppings. The problem with that is that kale is alllll kinds of tough and fibrous. Just chopping it up and throwing it in a bowl was a disaster for me — I felt like a giraffe eating leaves off of a tree.
Then I discovered the secret of massaging my kale … It turns thick, tough unappetizing kale leaves into tender little ribbons of nutritional perfection —ready to be topped with bright pretty topping and consumed in huge quantities to make up for the steak and whisky I had for dinner the day before.
Massaging kale just means using acid and salt to break down the cellular walls in the leaves to make them tender. Its also a perfect way to dress your salad! Basically, I use the amount of lemon juice and salt I’d normally like to have in my salad dressing and mix it into the kale as if I’m kneading dough. Do this for about 1-3 minutes depending on how soft you want your leaves. Then lightly toss in some good olive oil and you have a salad ready to be topped.
Another tip: If you have a choice, go for Tuscan kale or dinosaur kale … more flavor and more tender.
- One bunch of kale, preferably Tuscan or dinosaur
- ¼ cup of pepitas (also known as pumpkin seeds)
- One large grapefruit, segmented
- 1 ounce of pecorino cheese
- Juice of one lemon
- 1 teaspoon of honey
- 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Wash and dry the kale leaves. Then roughly chop into ½ inch ribbons.
- In a large bowl, sprinkle the kale with a pinch of salt and half of the lemon juice. Massage the kale leaves, working in the lemon juice and salt, for 1-3 minutes, until the kale is as tender as you would like.
- Mix together the honey and olive oil and toss the kale in the mixture. Taste for seasoning and add salt, black pepper or more lemon juice if needed.
- Separate the kale into two serving bowls and top with the grapefruit segments, pepitas and pecorino cheese*