Saturday, March 8, 2014

Massaged Kale Salad- 52 Do Ahead Salads

This became my very favorite salad recently... And a perfect dish to serve up table side for an outdoor meal. Just assemble the ingredients (Mise en Place bowls), massage your Kale in advance and mix at the table while you listen to the ooohs and aaahs.

Raw Kale... Really??? Doesn't that sound... well, doesn't that sound harsh?  Something that would taste rough and gritty going down.

Well, I was just introduced to a technique that turns normally rough greens into something soft and especially tasty.  the trick is to aggressively massage the kale.  Do this by hand and you can actually feel the texture of the greens turn from rough  to soft.  From something you would refer not to eat to something special.

The Massaged Kale does retain it's shape, even when rubbed with oil and lemon juice.  The leaves absorb the oil, keeping this salad clinging wet with the simple dressing without having it pool into the bottom of the bowl.  And of course, as you can tell from the photos, the delicious fresh bold green color and contrasting yellow from the mandarin oranges makes this simply stunning salad something special to serve!

This raw salad deserves a specialty Olive Oil.  Here in god's Country (Kansas City), we are fortunate enough to have a specialty Olive Oil store called The Tasteful Olive....
Welcome! We are a unique olive oil and vinegar store where you can sample over 60 fresh unflavored, fused, and infused olive oils from around the world and aged/naturally flavored balsamic vinegars, and browse many other accessory gourmet products. "For the love of good health!" 
The store is a delight to shop at.  It is near a Penzey's Spice specialty store, sharing a block with one of the area's best Farmer's markets, so a foodie heaven!

Well, the Tasteful Olive stocks an amazing Blood Orange Olive Oil that is wonderful when drizzled on (or in this case massaged into) raw vegetables and salads.

Just a tip on raw veggies and salads, these are the times to break out the slightly better quality of Olive Oil and dressings.  The nature of the premium oils is enhanced because you do not cook with them... just the pure taste of the oil.  This will work and taste just fine with "normal" Extra Virgin Olive Oil.  But if you have a chance to add a premium oil like the one from The Tasteful will be rewarded with something special.

there are a couple of extras, Mandarin Oranges, Lemon Zest, toasted pine nuts and some fantastic sweet dried cranberries.  I added some fresh grated Parmesan and my new FAVORITE salad was born!

OK, Here's what I did...

Massaged Kale Salad

  • 1 Large Bunch Kale, torn into bite size bits and massaged until tender
  • 1/4 Cup Premium Olive Oil, I used Blood Orange Infused EVOO
  • 1 Lemon Zested and juiced
  • 1/2 Cup Dried Cranberries
  • 1/3 Cup Pine Nuts, toasted
  • 1 Cup Mandarin Oranges (canned, drained)
  • 1/2 Cup Freshly grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 Small Pinch Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1 Small Kumato Tomato or Plum Tomato, thinly sliced
Cooking Directions
  1. In a large bowl, drizzle the Olive Oil over the Kale pieces. Begin to massage the kale vigorously to break down the rough texture. You can feel the kale release and become much more tender... Note: This is a KEY STEP.
  2. Add the Lemon Zest and Lemon Juice from the single large lemon (or two small ones)
  3. Add the remaining ingredients, toss and...
  4. Serve COLD or room Temperature and ENJOY

Be brave, massage your kale... you will be thrilled you did!

Good enough for a brave husband to serve to his wife's friends and neighbors (see the last couple of  posts for the story of my grilling dinner for the neighborhood book club)!

And come back tomorrow to see more of the now legendary neighborhood dinner!!!


So,  I am pleased to list this as one of my Growing list of  "52 Grilling Time Secret Extras" or "52 Ways to Cook BBQ and Grilling Recipes"!!!

Well over 52 recipes actually as I just can't stop... Over 100 in one grilling season (I love to grill!). But not just leat... Drinks, Condiments (LOTS of different BBQ sauces), Drinks, Desserts... even specialty items like GRILLED Pizza, and fun shaped Watermelons.  Easy and these ideas will make you the MASTER of your Backyard Domain!


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And BTW, if you are not yet part of a group board, drop me an email at and request to be added to my group board... FAVORITE FOOD BLOGGERS! (be sure to include your pinterest ID when you write)  Once you are added, any pins you add will be seen by 10s of THOUSANDS of followers of the board (and growing daily).

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