Massaged Kale Salad

Here in the US, kale is primarily in season from January through April. With this window rapidly closing, we are trying to enjoy as much fresh, local kale as we can. So, when we got a beautiful bunch of Lacinato kale from our community supported agriculture (CSA) box, I decided to try something that, admittedly, sounds rather strange — massaged kale.

The inspiration for massaged kale came from a dish Jill ordered from Prato, a modern Italian restaurant that our friends in Winter Park, Florida took us to a while back. While their menu changes regularly, they often have a variation on the kale salad that does not disappoint.

To make my interpretation of the salad, you need:

  • 1 Bunch of fresh Lacinato kale
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 Eggs, hard-boiled (see notes below), cut in half
  • 4 Small sweet pepper (or a medium yellow or orange bell pepper) thinly sliced
  • 4 Strips of crispy bacon, broken into small bits
  • 2 Carrots, peeled and shredded
  • 2 Radishes, thinly sliced
  • 4 to 5 Fresh stawberries, sliced
  • Grated Parmesan, to taste

Remove the tough stems from the Kale and thinly slice the leaves. Toss the kale in a mixing bowl with the lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Massage the kale vigorously with your fingertips for 2 minutes. The kale will soften and wilt slightly. Top the kale with the remaining ingredients to make a fresh, healthy salad. The lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper used to massage the kale creates a nice coating, so additional salad dressing is not necessary. Makes 2 dinner-sized salads.

Massaged local kale salad
Massaged local kale salad

To make the perfect hard-boiled egg: Put the eggs in a saucepan that is large enough to cover them with 1 inch of cold water. Bring the water to a boil over medium heat. Once the water is boiling, put a lid on the pan and remove it from the heat.  Wait 11 minutes, then drain the pot and place the eggs under cool running water for a minute. Carefully crack and peel the eggs.

Kale salad with hard-boiled eggs
Kale salad with hard-boiled eggs
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