I’m giving kale the spa treatment with this lovely and filling Massaged Kale Salad with Cranberries, Avocado, and Goat Cheese.
Well, I think this officially makes kale the most high maintenance vegetable out there. The nerve, right? I mean, if anyone is getting a massage around here it’s you and me.
Trust me, I thought this whole “massaged kale” business was total nonsense too. Then one day I finally decided to see what all the fuss was about. Annnnd, it turns out there’s legitimate reason for fuss.
Raw kale isn’t exactly known for it’s tender, sweet leaves. In fact, it has a reputation for being tough and bitter. Kale’s kind of the bully of the school yard, but all it needs is a little TLC to turn it into the sweet sensitive green everyone loves. Giving kale a short, 5 minute rubdown helps works out the bitter flavor, leaving you with silky, tender kale that’s perfect for a raw salad.
All you really need to massage kale is your fingers and a little olive oil, but I like to work in lemon, a bit of honey, white balsamic vinegar, and avocado as well. The fat in the avocado coats the kale perfectly while the lemon brightens up this dark green.
I like to use purple kale for salads when I can find it. For some reason, eating vegetables is infinitely better when they’re that lovely. After the kale gets its spa-time, I top it with more sliced avocado, goat cheese for some creaminess and tang, dried cranberries for sweetness, and red onion for zip. I also like to toss on a few roasted pecans or walnuts if I have them on hand.
This salad has become my new quick go-to for lunches as I attempt to detox from a few months of heavy holiday eating and baking. It’s filling, packed with nutrition, and, most importantly, not even a little bit bitter. So break out the relaxing spa music and take a few minutes to massage that kale!
Massaged Kale Salad with Avocado, Cranberries, and Goat Cheese
- 1 large bunch purple kale, stems removed and discarded
- Juice of 1 small lemon
- 1 Tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon honey
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 2 Tablespoons avocado, plus the remainder for serving
- 4 ounces goat cheese
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1/2 a red onion, sliced thin
- 1/2 cup roasted pecans or walnuts (optional)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Roll the kale leaves up like a cigar and chop them into thin strips. Add the kale to a large bowl along with the lemon juice, vinegar, honey, olive oil and ¼ cup avocado. Use your fingers to work the oil mixture into the kale leaves, for 2-3 minutes, or until the leaves start to wilt and are reduced by half. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
- Top each serving with chopped avocado, goat cheese, cranberries, onion, and nuts, if desired. Drizzle with a little extra olive oil, if desired.