Massaged Curly Kale Salad

What’s Cooking? Kale!

If there could ever be such a thing as an A-list vegetable then it has to be kale. It’s the ingredient de jour for celebrity smoothies, is loved by nutritionists and is much easier to cook with than many people imagine. Put simply, kale is one of the healthiest vegetables on the planet. A leafy green, kale is available in several varieties – the most common a flat or curly leaf.

It’s a low calorie source of fibre, great for aiding digestion and a brilliant detox food as along with its fibre it also contains plenty of sulphur to keep your liver healthy. Per calorie, kale has more iron than beef, which is essential for the formation of red blood cells to transport oxygen around the body. And equally kale has more calcium per calorie than milk. Calcium helps prevent osteoporosis and maintain a healthy metabolism.

This dark green leaf is also high in Vitamin K, which can help protect against various cancers and is also necessary for a wide variety of bodily functions including good bone health. This vitamin is also key in helping people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.

Kale is filled with powerful antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids. It will also help keep you feeling healthy as it’s high in vitamin C, an impressive immune system booster. So there’s little wonder it’s been touted as the best green veggie around. If you want to appreciate the delicious flavour and health benefits of kale then try Lisa’s Massaged Curly Kale Salad – we reckon you’ll be hooked!


Massaged Curly Kale Salad

Skill Level:


Preparation time: 30 mins
Cooking time: 5 mins
Serves: 6-8


  • 300g fine trimmed beans, boiled then cut in small pieces
  • 1 avocado, cubed
  • 206g sliced curly kale (washed)
  • ½ juice of lemon
  • 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 150g green grapes, cut in half lengthways
  • 50g pistachios, crushed
  • handful toasted sesame seeds
  • sea salt
  • black pepper
  • dressing – mint sauce (you will only need half)
  • 10g coriander, fresh
  • 10g mint, fresh
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 170g fat free greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1 ripe mango
  • sea salt
  • black pepper
  • Bring a medium pan of salted water to the boil, cook the fine trimmed green beans for 5 minutes, then drain and run under running cold water, then chop into small pieces, set aside
  • To make the dressing, in a blender add the mango, mint, coriander, garlic clove and pulse then add the yogurt
  • Season with sea salt, black pepper and 1 tsp. sugar
  • In a large mixing bowl place the kale add the lemon juice, olive oil and then add lots of sea salt [The salt flavors the kale and also helps soften it by drawing out the water and acting as an abrasive]
  • Using your clean hands, start massaging, keep working the kale until the color deepens and it feels soft, and tender, 2 to 3 minutes (discard any large stalks)
  • At this point, stir in the remaining ingredients, avocado, grapes, beans
  • Mix well, cover and let sit for an hour before serving to let the flavors meld
  • Serve on a large flat platter
  • Sprinkle the top with crushed pistachios, toasted sesame seeds
  • Drizzle half of the mint dressing over the salad, keep the remaining dressing in the fridge
  • Enjoy

Lisa’s Tip Raw, massaged kale salad is one of my very favorite foods in the whole entire world – one that would definitely be on my last meal list. The bottom line is, once you learn the massaging technique which softens the crunchy kale, you’ll find yourself improvising versions of this salad left and right. When kale is massaged, its cellulose structure breaks down and wilts, so the leaves that were once tough and fibrous become silky. The kale reduces in volume by over half and the leaves take on a subtle sweetness. Discard any large kale stalks. Not only does it make it easier to massage, but it also makes it easier to eat. This salad is perfect because you can make it ahead of time, and it actually gets a bit better after it sits for a day or two.

This entry was posted in Recipes - Starters & Nibbles. Bookmark the permalink.
Delicious Digg Facebook LinkedIn reddit StumbleUpon Twitter Email Print Friendly

Comments are closed.