kale salad with lemon garlic dressing


Am I already writing about kale again? Blame it on my friend Tara, The Kale Enthusiast. (She’s also the kraut making expert.) She’s been growing her own kale for years and swears by raw kale salads. I’ll eat kale blanched or steamed with a little squeeze of lemon and salt, and of course kale chips are wonderful, but it’s taken me awhile to come around to raw kale. Maybe it was that kale smoothie at the beginning of the summer that made me, well, gag.

This blog is decidedly anti-gag. The recipes have to be as delicious as they are nutritious. Otherwise, you’ll never make any of this stuff. And I’m out to prove to you that real food really does taste better than processed junk.

So, The Kale Enthusiast whispered this little secret that’s nothing short of revelatory: massage the kale with olive oil and it loses its bitterness. Massage kale? Seriously?

Kale Salad with Lemon Garlic Dressing

1 big bunch of kale (leaves stripped from the stems)

1 1/2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice

3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 – 3 Tablespoons finely grated Parmesan cheese

1 clove garlic

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper

1/2 – 1 Tablespoon Heaven Scent Sauce (optional)


Use a mortar and pestel to smash the garlic and sea salt into a paste, then place in a large bowl (big enough to toss the entire bunch of kale). Add the rest of the ingredients and whisk or stir with a fork until well combined. Strip pieces of kale from the stem and add to the bowl.

Use both hands to vigorously dress the salad. (Only one hand pictured as my other had to take the photo!) Make sure you really work the dressing into the leaves. It really is like “massaging”. As the leaves absorb the dressing, they’ll become softer and far less bitter. The salad can be kept in a glass container with a lid for a few days, making it the the ideal picnic salad or work lunch.

Add a few crumbles of blue cheese and walnuts and you’ve got a delicious meal! I’m guessing this would also be incredible with a poached egg on top.

And now allow me to extoll the many virtues of kale:

  • It’s one of the cheapest organic veggies out there, and it’s easy to grow in various climates, just ask The Kale Enthusiast; she’s had successful crops in the chilly Northeast and the arid Southwest.
  • Kale fights cancer, specifically bladder, breast, colon, ovarian, and prostate cancers.
  • Kale lowers cholesterol and helps prevent heart disease.
  • Kale is an anti-inflammatory.
  • Kale is super mega rich in vitamins A, K, C, and manganese as well as fiber, copper, calcium, B6, potassium, iron, E, and folate.
  • For a full profile on the health benefits of kale, check out The World’s Healthiest Foods website.


*Remember, ORGANIC kale only. Pesticide residue is high on kale that’s been sprayed. The liver’s ability to process other toxins, the cells’ ability to produce energy, and the nerves’ ability to send messages are all compromised by pesticide exposure.



2 Responses to “kale salad with lemon garlic dressing”
  1. Rena Ryan says:

    Looks delicious. You know, there might be something to this massage technique… I’m reminded of Julia Child’s method of roasting chicken. She always began by giving the bird a good butter massage “because the chicken likes it”!

  2. Ahhhh, I love it! Julia was definitely onto something! It is sort of magical, what happens to the food depending upon how it’s handled. Last night I started in on the sauerkraut, which takes a 10-minute beating before getting stuffed into the jar, proving that sometimes agression in the kitchen actually works. (Though I still prefer to lovingly concoct a sauce.)

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