Sunday, November 9, 2014

Mad Gourmet's Massaged Kale Salad with Apples and Walnuts

Since this salad has been one of my staples in the last year, I think it’s about time that I share my recipe.

The inspiration for this recipe was really a conversation after one of our Walk for Cause evenings. We were having dinner and the subject of kale came up (sure, that comes up all the time, right?). I commented that I tried kale once, and I found it to be really bitter.

My foodie friends who have been fans of kale suggested that I enjoy it in a massaged kale salad, one of her favorite ways of enjoying kale. She would cut up the kale, and then call her husband (the best massage therapist in the area) to massage the kale.

I have the feeling that the kale got a deep tissue massage with him.

I was inspired with this conversation, so I decided to try kale again.

However, they did not really share the proportions with me so I thought I would go to Food Network for guidance. I found this recipe by Aarti Segueira for Massaged Kale Salad with Mangoes and thought I would use this as my base.

When I first did this, I did this during the fall so I could not find mangoes. Since apples were in season, I decided to use apples instead. Pepitas were a bit out of my budget, so I just used nuts. In my first attempt, I used toasted sliced almonds because they reminded me of pepitas. I have been using walnuts since as my staple because they seem meatier.

I also prefer lighter salads, so I do not use too much olive oil. Don’t let that stop you from using more (up to 1/4 cup). I actually think it gives the salad a fresher feel.

Here’s what I have. I’d love to know what you think.

Mad Gourmet's Massaged Kale Salad with Apples and Walnuts
Based on Aarti Segueira’s Massaged Kale Salad


  • 2- 3 leaves of curly kale (about 3-4 cups, red kale also works), stalks removed and discarded, leaves sliced in bite size pieces sliced
  • 1/4 lemon, juiced
  • 2 T of extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/3 cup diced apples
  • Small handful toasted walnuts (toasting optional)

  1. In large serving bowl, add the kale, a drizzle of oil and a little kosher salt. Massage until the kale starts to soften and wilt, 2 to 3 minutes.
  2. Add lemon juice over the kale and add the apples and walnuts. Toss and serve.

I love this salad. Salad keeps overnight and is still delicious. It’s perfect for my brown-bag lunches. Add a cup of quinoa or barley and it’s a very filling lunch.

It’s also very versatile. I may vary the fruit depending on what is in season. During the spring and summer, I added blackberries and peaches. During the fall and winter, I also use pears, beets, squash,  pomegranate arils or a combination. I vary the nuts too depending on what is in my pantry.

So many possibilities....