There are lots of recipes for wilted (or “massaged”) kale salads around, but this one nails the flavor balance*. It’s from Jennifer Adler, a nutritionist in Seattle. Thanks to Daniel B for the link that led me to it.
1 bunch kale
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
3 T sunflower seeds, or other nuts or seeds such as slivered almonds or pine nuts, toasted
2 T diced red onion
3 T tart dried berries (she suggests currants, I used blueberries, also try cranberries)
1/4 peeled and diced apple
2 T olive oil
1 T apple cider vinegar
3 T feta or dry gorgonzola or other sharp cheese, crumbled
Method: De-stem the kale, using your hands, by tearing away the green leafy part from the stem that runs down the middle. Wash leaves and dry thoroughly. Stack the leaves, roll them up, then cut into chiffonade. Transfer the kale to a bowl, add salt, and massage with your fingers for about 2 minutes until leaves are moist and shiny. The volume of the kale should reduce by about 1/3.
Toast seeds in a dry skillet over low to medium heat, stirring constantly for a few minutes until they change color and give off a nutty aroma. (Or use pre-toasted seeds.) Add seeds to the kale with the other ingredients, toss and serve. This is a sturdy salad that will keep for a couple of days in the refrigerator and will also hold up at room temperature on a hike or a picnic.
- This recipe has been updated to suggest a few ingredient options. The main thing is to create the right balance of crunchy/crispy/leafy and salty/sour.