Oh for the love of a good kale salad.
Admittedly it took me a while to actually like kale. It had its time in the limelight as the top superfood for a long time, and I just couldn’t get on the train. The leaves were tough, the stems woody, and it never did well in my garden. Then I began to learn the truth about kale.
Kale is a winter vegetable through and through. It will hold up to a frost and even snow like a champ, just wander out to your garden and brush the snow off to find those beautiful bright green leaves. I had spent years planting it in spring with the rest of my vegetables only to have it either in the heat of summer (right along with my cabbage). Now I realize that planting an early spring or late fall crop is the idea. We are always learning over here.
I also realize that massaging it is key.
Stay with me here. Yes, we are massaging our salad.
Kale can be cooked without a problem, but eaten raw it can be a bit tough. However, when you massage it, much like with cabbage it starts to release its liquid and become more palatable. Not to mention that the dressing gets mixed in there rather well. This my friends was the life-changing factor I needed to actually enjoy kale. These day’s I’m downright craving it.
This is one of those cravings that’s actually still hanging around after pregnancy. I ate so much kale and so many beets during pregnancy it’s unimaginable. Now that kale season is back I’m all over it.
This particular salad recipe is meant to be a guideline, feel free to add whatever additional salad toppings you prefer. This time of year I love the combination of apples and nuts but have been known to add dried cranberries, goat cheese, roasted squash, and beets. There are a lot of great options so definitely play around with it.
- 1 bunch kale, stalks removed and leaves chopped
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 small apple, cored and sliced
- ¼ cup unsalted almonds
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- In large serving bowl, add the kale, a drizzle of oil (less than a tablespoon) and a little kosher salt. Massage until the kale starts to soften and wilt, 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add the apples and nuts.
- In a small bowl combine the rest of the oil, balsamic and maple. Whisk until well blended. Drizzle over the top of the salad and toss well to coat.
- Serve immediately.