Massaged Kale Salad

Kale is part of the brassica family which is the same family as cabbage.  Some of us call it kale  – some of us call it black kale, cavolo nero or Tuscan black cabbage. There is a secret to a great kale salad and such a great vegetable requires great respect.  The leaves need to be washed and shredded finely.  They then need to be filled with love and lots of it – so you need to add a good squeeze of lemon, a little olive oil and a pinch of sea salt and black pepper. Now the most important part is to give it a massage – yes you need to massage the leaves tenderly which helps to soften and wilt the leaves. It is now ready for aromatics such as mint and parsley then a generous scattering of pomegranate and goji that adds a hint of sweetness.  I also love to add extra goodness such as pumpkin seed and walnut that also give it texture and mouth appeal.

What I love about this salad is that it keeps really well for days in the fridge so it’s the perfect meal to pack into a lunchbox. I often make double batches for this purpose and sometimes alter the dressing ingredients and boosters to vary taste and texture.  (see how to make the perfect dressing)

Why it’s so great:
Kale is rich in vitamins A, C and K and folic acid, as well as calcium, potassium, copper and iron. These nutrients are necessary for healthy bones, skin and eyes. Pomegranate is high in antioxidants, especially C that can help support your immune system, also high in fibre for healthy digestion. Pumpkin seeds are high in minerals including magnesium, manganese, copper, iron and zinc.  Zinc is responsible for a healthy immune function by helping with the growth and development of white blood cells. Pumpkin seeds are also high in the amino acid tryptophan that helps to make serotonin – the FEEL GOOD hormone  responsible for feelings of wellbeing.

500 g fresh kale (approx 2 large bunches or 17  1/2 oz))
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 lemon
2 tablespoons cold pressed olive oil or flaxseed oil
4 spring onions, finely sliced
1 bunch mint, chopped
1 bunch parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds
1 pomegranate (see how to peel a pomegranate)
2 tablespoons goji berries
1 cup micro greens (optional)
Serves 4

Remove tough stems from the kale leaves and wash well.
Shred finely and place into a large bowl.
Combine  pepper, salt, lemon juice, olive oil into a small bowl or cup.
Mix the dressing ingredients well then pour over the shredded kale leaves.
Combine the dressing with the kale until mixed through.
Add some love and start to massage the leaves gently for about 2 – 3  minutes.   The leaves will slowly start to soften and wilt, relaxing the kale so so that the leaves become wonderfully tender.
Add the spring onion, parsley, mint, pumpkin seed, pomegranate, goji berry and micro greens.
Toss through gently and taste to adjust any flavours if necessary or add any other boosters.
Divide between serving bowls and enjoy or store in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Add 1 x avocado – anti-inflammatory and rich in vitamin E, an antioxidant that helps to protect against free radicals.
Add 1 tablespoon ground linseeds or walnuts – high omega 3 for heart and brain health.
Add your favourite protein sources.  I love adding scattering more nuts, seeds such as flaxseed or chia,  LSA or goats feta. Hubby loves his folded through with quinoa and roasted walnuts or as a side to a tender piece of grass fed steak.

Micro greens are delicate baby green herbs available from green grocers.

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23 Responses to “Massaged Kale Salad”
  1. Emily says:

    Hi Teresa,

    Could you tell me if Kale and Endive are the same thing?
    Can’t wait to try this salad!


  2. Susie says:

    Oooh – yes – and Amaranth? is that similar/interchangeable with kale?

  3. Edwena Pedersen says:

    Thanks Teresa… Q Do those type of Kale you mention all look the same????.Are there different types of Kale….as in the look of it???? Do you have any pictures???
    I am confused! I planted ‘ Kale’ in my garden, but wehen I see it in Harris Farm they say mine is not Kale!!!!

    • There are a few different varieties Edwena – the curly version (leaves have curly ends) – nero kale (or Tuscan black kale (leaves are flatter and dark green) + Red winter kale – Sage coloured leaves with purple stems> I’ve seen all three in Harris Farms, Thomas Dux, green grocers, farmers markets. :) Will post pics shortly.

  4. Lisa Ingram says:

    Great – after visiting a farmers’ market today I bought 2 pomegranates. Finally hopped on to my email for a quick look, and here’s this recipe! I have everything else…hurray! Tomorrow’s lunch is chargrilled veg, spinach and fresh grilled sardines. Tuesday will be this – thanks. Looking forward to it.

  5. Jennifer says:

    Hi Teresa

    I am planning that salad for dinner with left overs for lunch! Yipeee.. Just want to double check that it won’t go soggy overnight. I know you say keeps well in the fridge. By the way I have been making one your salads from the 80:20 book so simple and delish. I love your recipes.

    Cheers Jenny

  6. Kym says:

    I used orange juice instead of lemon, and half an avocado instead of oil – this was delicious! It won over my “no kale” son!!

  7. Megan says:

    Dear Teresa, this salad won my family over. My teenage son is on his fourth helping. I thought I’d have enough left over for lunch tomorrow. Not so!

  8. Serena says:

    If pomegranate is not in season, what is a good replacement?

  9. Fran says:

    This was amazing :) did not have gogi or cranberries so I used defrosted organic raspberries. My new fav salad, jus a pity my 2 y old didn’t like it

  10. Lyndsee says:

    I made this tonight and it was delicious! I’d never done the massage thing, and it really made a difference.

  11. Michelle says:

    I was skeptical about how good raw kale would taste, as my kale experience so farvhasnt been great. I was so pleasantly surprised I made some more so there were leftovers for lunch! I added sunflower seeds and walnuts as well as the pepittas. So tasty! Now to test it out on the hubby who won’t eat kale!

  12. Raelene says:

    Love love this salad !!! Have made it twice in 3 days… Added chicken , avocado and feta today… Best way to eat kake…

  13. Sarah Buddy says:

    Delicious and fresh! Made this tonight, also added pine nuts, some crumbled feta, avocado and salmon fresh salmon sashimi. Super easy and just what my body was telling me I needed. Thank you!

  14. Sandra says:

    Try it with small strips of fresh mango, it’s delish!

  15. Cynthia says:

    Hi Teresa
    have just discovered your website and the recipes looks fantastic. I have been diagnosed with a thyroid problem (hyper) and have read that it is not good to eat raw brassicas with this type of health condition. But I love my kale, cabbage and cauliflower. Are you able to shed any light on this issue ? grateful for your advice …..

  16. Hyati says:

    I’ve made this salad a few times for different groups of friends and each time it’s a hit with everyone! Thanks for sharing the tip on massaging the kale!

  17. cathy says:

    Hi Teresa –
    looking at making this gorgeous salad for Christmas Day (lovely green and red – may add roasted cauli for the white)…i would love to use the micro greens – are they readily available in green grocers?

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