Massaged Kale Salad, my way

The other day I was listening to Fresh Air (my favorite radio program in the world) and there was an interview with the people from America’s Test Kitchen. They were talking about massaged kale salad and so I, naturally, decided to experiment with this ridiculous sounding concept. After one try, I have to say, this business is tasty. Here is my super-easy recipe for Massaged Kale with lots of good stuff in it.


  1. One bunch of Lacinato Kale (or other dark green variety – skip the super frilly stuff)
  2. One green onion
  3. Three apricots (or you could use a peach or nectarine if that’s how you roll)
  4. A good handful of whole pecans
  5. One heirloom tomato (or other tomato that actually has flavor)
  6. One lemon
  7. One can of cannellini beans
  8. Very good olive oil
  9. One and a half teaspoons of honey
  10. Coarse salt
  11. Red pepper flakes (optional)

Steps to Joy

  1. Heat a dry pan over medium heat and toast the pecans until they are super fragrant. Don’t burn them. As soon as they are toasted, remove them from the pan and spread them out so they cool off.
  2. Rinse and strain the cannellini beans (you can use garbanzo beans or kidney’s if you prefer).
  3. Rinse and dry the kale. Cut out the tough stalks and then cut it crosswise into one inch to 1/2 inch strips.
  4. Dump the kale into a bowl and add half the juice of the lemon, one glug of olive oil, and about 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt.
  5. Massage the kale. No joke. Massage it. Literally, get your hands in there and rub it for about 2-5 minutes. The kale will soften and looked a bit bruised. Taste it. If it isn’t super bitter, it is massaged enough.
  6. Chop up the tomato, green onion and apricots into small, bite-sized pieces. Dump in the bowl with the kale.
  7. Put the beans in with the kale, apricots, green onion and tomato.
  8. Dump in the honey.
  9. Put a bit more olive oil in (maybe another tablespoon or so?).
  10. Squeeze the rest of the lemon onto the kale (you may want more or less depending on how tart your lemons are, so start with less and taste until it has a nice bit of acid without being overpowering).
  11. Chop up the pecans and add them to the mix.
  12. Stir really well, taste and adjust seasoning as you like. This is the point where I added red pepper flake. You might want more lemon or more olive oil. I didn’t need any more salt, but you might.
  13. EAT!

This is what mine looked like:


Let me know if you make this!


One Comment

rpetralia August 5, 2013 Reply

I thought it was a pompous concept, too, until I had a massaged kale salad that a friend made. It really is good. Yours looks yum.

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