Just Like You, Raw Kale Enjoys A Good Massage

How To Eat Raw Kale (And Enjoy It)

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Just Like You, Raw Kale Enjoys A Good Massage

Over the last year or so, a selection of raw, “massaged” kale salads have started to dominate restaurant menus here in New York. The reason? Kale is a nutritional powerhouse (check out more fun facts here.) It’s also extremely versatile. This dark leafy green pairs well with a light and vibrant olive oil dressing (a personal favorite), and it’s also resilient enough to stand up to a heavy, creamier dressing (like this one!). It’s all in how you prepare it.

Kale, as many of you beauties know, comes in several varieties including a curly green kale, a Tuscan kale (or Dinosaur kale) and a less common red kale. All of these kale varieties have a relatively firm leaf and can be intimidating when you first pull them out of your grocery bag. You need to tame kale by spending a little time rubbing the leaves with a nice olive oil. I also find, if you cut the kale into long, thin confetti-like ribbons it makes it that much more awesome to eat raw in a salad. Here is how I like to make a simple, raw kale salad. I use a Tuscan kale here, but any kale will work!

How to prepare raw kale for a simple salad
  • Step 1: Wash the kale

    Rinse the kale leaves really well. Use a salad spinner (or kitchen towel) to remove any excess water.

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  • Step 2: Remove the stems

    Using two hands, strip the kale leaves from the stems.

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  • Step 3: Prepare the kale for slicing

    Separate the bunch of kale, stems removed, into two bundles. Roll the bundles into a tight, log-like shape.

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  • Step 4: Slice the kale into long, thin ribbons

    I like to use a chef’s knife, and work the knife back and forth across the kale bundle into long, thin ribbons.

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  • Step 5: Massage the kale leaves

    Massage the kale leaves with 2 tablespoons of good olive oil. Make sure the leaves are dry and that all leaves are coated well with oil (~1-2 minutes). This is key to a tender and buttery kale salad. Add a sprinkle of good sea salt and a handful of grated Pecorino or parmesan cheese and toss well. Enjoy!

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Raw Kale Salad Recipes

Looking for more kale salad inspiration? These are some of my favorite raw kale salad recipes.


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