When the weather's hot and I need some real sustenance, I turn to KALE SALAD. IMG_1892Kale has gotten a lot of attention lately for being a "super food." It's gained a trendy status that has surely resulted in one too many kale tattoos and garage band names. Regardless, it's a great tasting leaf and it makes a lovely salad.

Kale can seem a bit rough for salad, which is why I make a massaged kale salad. I know, it sounds ridiculous, but it's quick and it's worth it.IMG_8844

There's plenty to say about kale itself another day, but here are some tidbits until that blog entry comes out:IMG_8831

  • There are many varieties of kale, from flat leaves that look like collards to ruffled leaves that crinkle like a ballerina's tutu, to leaves that look like they're bubbling.
  • Kale gets sweeter after the first frost. This happens because the water in the plant starts turning to alcohol (sugar!) to protect the plant from below-freezing temperatures.
  • Kale grows well nearly year-round, even on the east coast.

Here's how I make KALE SALAD:

  1. Slice or dice kale. Small, tender leaves can be cut up as-is; larger ones should have the center stem removed.
  2. Place in bowl with a drizzle of oil (pick an oil based on what you plan to top the salad with; I usually pick olive oil or coconut oil, though canola works fine, too).
  3. Massage the kale. Really.
  4. Add your toppings [see suggestions below] and any dressing additions (try soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice...).
  5. Enjoy!

    IMG_1891

Topping suggestions:

  • toasted nuts (I like almonds)
  • sauteed or raw onion
  • raw crushed garlic
  • beans (chickpeas or edamame are great)
  • cucumber
  • salty crunch (try sesame crackers or crumbled tortilla chips)
  • raw onion
  • fresh herbs
  • whatever's ready to be eaten in your garden or fridge!

Have you made kale salad? Share your favorite toppings in the comments section below!