Don't be put off by the title. I know it sounds a little odd to think of 'massaged kale', but play along with me for a bit. You really are going to massage the kale for this salad. The massage is a way to soften and relax those raw kale leaves into one outstanding salad....sort of the way an actual massage relaxes a stressed-out mom. Your kale is stressed and it needs to relax! I made this months ago and forgot about it until this week when I was flipping through my Pinterest files. Another great one from Mel's Kitchen Cafe. My husband's proclamation of "Wow!" when he took his first bite is all the endorsement you should need. It's healthy, it's simple, and it is oh-so-lovely. I even think you could add some meat (shredded, cooked chicken specifically) and you would have yourself a nice main dish salad. I could eat the whole bowl, but instead I was nice and let my husband eat half of it. This is a keeper.
Massaged Kale Salad with Feta and Craisins
- 1 bunch kale
- 3/4 teaspoon coarse kosher salt or sea salt (I think that is a bit much, honestly--start with 1/2 t.)
- 1/4 cup finely diced red onion (I had a red onion emergency so left it out this time. It was still fantastic)
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries/craisins
- 3/4 cup small-diced apple (I just used one small apple--had a gala in my fridge)
- 1/3 cup toasted sunflower seeds (I didn't toast mine)
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1/3 cup crumbled Feta cheese
Wash your hands and get ready to work some magic on this kale. Wash and dry the kale, and cut out the thick stem on each leaf. Stack a few leaves, roll up like a cigar, and then slice into thin ribbons. Repeat until you've got a nice pile of kale in the bowl. Sprinkle with the salt and then massage the leaves (working the salt into them with your hands) for a couple of minutes. The color of the kale will darken, it will become more tender, and it will look more like seaweed when it's right. Add the sunflower seeds, red onion, apple, craisins, and feta. To make the dressing, whisk together the oil, vinegar, and sugar. Pour over the salad and then toss well. You can make the salad ahead, but I wouldn't let the dressing sit on it for more than an hour or two before serving. This is one awesome salad.