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2008 Original: Truth is, not so many vegetable recipes knock me over anymore. But this one sure did. After gobbling up this plateful, I was glad to find that the greens bag from the fridge still had plenty of kale and broccoli rabe left over for another couple of salads.
The technique is dead easy. Just slice fresh greens into ribbons, then use your hands to massage the tiniest bit of olive oil into the leaves, softening them. (Many thanks to cookbook author and fellow blogger Nava Atlas for the technique tip!) I added half a blood orange and half a 300-minute egg (interesting in technique and color but otherwise unremarkable) -- a perfect light but filling lunch for a it's-still-January dieter.
Another day, I tried used the greens from raw broccoli rabe and its broccoli-like tips (very good!) and attempted a shortcut -- just tossing the greens and olive oil -- and learned that no, that's not enough, the 'massage' is key both to distributing the very tiny amount of oil throughout all the greens, also to softening the greens just a bit.
2012: Turns out, this is a salad technique I turn to especially during the winter, when leafy greens are so abundant and so appreciated when other fresh vegetables are scarce.
"[Making the night before] works! The kale stays soft and tastes fine. " ~ M
"... fabulous." ~ Sarabeth
QUICK 'MASSAGED' KALE SALAD
Time to table: 10 minutes
Serves 1 - as many as needed
A handful of fresh kale, stems sliced out and discarded/composted, leaves rolled into cigars and then sliced cross-wise into ribbons
1 teaspoon olive oil - use good olive oil
Salt - use good salt
Pepper - I used lemon pepper
Splash of vinegar - good vinegar, if you can
1/2 a blood orange, skin sliced off, halved vertically then sliced cross-wise into half moons, the texture/taste contrast is quite wonderful, a plain orange would offer the same benefit
1/2 a hard-boiled egg, sliced
Blue cheese crumbles
Slices of sun-dried tomato
Play around - this is a great salad!
PREP the KALE Wash the kale very well, soaking it if especially gritty, rinsing it under running water. Dry the kale in a salad spinner or between layers of paper towels. Slice off the heavy stems and discard. Stack two or three or more layers of leaves and roll like a cigar. With a sharp knife, cut cross-wise into ribbons.
MASSAGE the KALE With your fingers, rub the leaves with the oil, no need to be gentle, this is kale, after all. The idea is to massage it into the leaves, breaking down and softening the leaves, making it easier to eat. Take some time here, it takes two or three minutes to really work it in. At the end, work in the vinegar and season well with salt and pepper.
MAKE THE SALAD Arrange the leaves on a plate, then top with other salad items. Go for color, texture and temperature contrast, it's amazing to get so many sensations all at once.
ALANNA's TIPS & KITCHEN NOTES
To my taste, this salad needs a really good sprinkling of good salt.
One reason this salad made up so quickly is that the greens had already been washed. It's a Rachael Ray time-shifting tip that I love.
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MORE SIMPLE GREEN SALADS
~ Simple Arugula Salad ~
~ Celery, Date & Walnut Salad ~
~ Celery & Apple Salad ~
~ Watercress, Clementine & Blue Cheese Salad ~
~ more green salad recipes ~
from A Veggie Venture
FAVORITE WINTER FRUIT SALAD RECIPES
~ Apple Yogurt Salad ~
~ Winter Fruit Salad ~
~ Holiday Fruit Parfait with Yogurt, Cranberries, Applesauce, Pineapple & Kiwi ~
~ more salad recipes ~
from Kitchen Parade, my food column
famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.
© Copyright Kitchen Parade 2008