The Seasoned Franciscan - Cooking Joyfully

'Massaged" Kale Salad with Lemon Dressing

By Adapted from "Spend with Pennies" by Vicki Lopez-Kaley on Monday, June 19th 2023



¼  C olive oil
2 T fresh lemon juice, fresh is best
2 T red wine or other vinegar
1 T Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, minced
¼ tsp salt
½ tsp dried oregano
1/8 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp honey or sugar

Salad:      5 C kale chopped or torn into 1' bite-sized pieces 
1-2 tsp olive oil
1/8 tsp salt

Optional Additions:
2 C broccoli chopped
½ C nuts:  sunflower seeds, sliced almonds, or chopped walnuts
¼ - ½ C shredded carrots or radishes
½ C chopped or shredded apple
¼ C sliced scallions or red onions
¼ C raisins or dried cranberries
½ C cheese (cheddar pieces or shreds, crumbled Feta, parmesan or other favorite)
Leftover cooked chicken or bacon pieces
Your favorite leftover cooked grain:  wild rice, quinoa, bulgar, brown rice


1.Combine dressing ingredients in a lidded jar or bowl.  Shake or whisk well to combine. Dip a piece of kale in the dressing.  Taste and adjust sweetener, salt, and pepper as you like.

2.Rinse kale leaves in cool water.  With one hand, hold on to the thick stem at the end and with the other hand, strip the leaves from the stem.  Compost stems or store in water to saute in a few days with spices!

3. Tear or chop dried kale into bit-sized pieces.  Spin it dry in a salad spinner OR shake dry and place in a dry kitchen towel. Massage the chopped kale with a little olive oil and a pinch of salt. Rub with your fingers until leaves look darker in color.

4.In a large bowl, combine salad ingredients. Stir or shake the dressing once more.  Pour about ? of the dressing on the salad. Toss.  Add extra dressing, as you like.  There should not be dressing “pooled” in the bottom of the bowl.

Preparing Kale:

Rinse kale leaves in cool water to remove all the dirt and dust. 

Hold on to the thick stem end and with the other hand, strip the leaves from the stem.  Discard the stems OR put in a tall container with a small amount of water and keep refrigerated to chop and saute a day or two later.

Tear or chop the dried kale into 1 inch (bite-sized) pieces. 

Spin it dry in a salad spinner OR shake dry and place in a dry kitchen towel.  Fold in the ends of the towel and hold tightly while you spin the whole thing.  The towel will absorb most of the water.

(Optional)  For a more tender raw kale salad, massage the chopped kale with a little olive oil or lemon juice and a pinch of salt. Rub with your fingers until leaves look a bit darker in color.  It really makes a difference and kids love "massaging" the greens".


This recipe for “’Massaged’ Kale Salad with Lemon Dressing” is full of nutrients, packed with flavor and may make you into a kale lover. Even kids liked it!  It can be made ahead as the hardy leaves keep well, even with dressing. 

Another recipes made with grade schoolers, it was also demonstrated with younger kids at a local school garden.  They got their hands in the bowl to massage the greens!  Helping kids of all ages grow and/or prepare vegetables and fruit encourages openness to new foods.  Don't we all enjoy getting some coaching in the garden or the kitchen?  If you are curious about a certain food or cuisine, baking bread or fixing your favorite restaurant dish, find someone to "coach" you, even if it's an online cook or a TV chef. 

The recipe and photo above come from Holly, a Canadian mom of 4 who loves to add to her site called "Spend with Pennies".  She suggests we check out how versatile kale can be, saying, "Leftover kale can be stirred into pasta, blended into pesto, and even baked into crispy kale chips, if the craving strikes! The possibilities are endless. I even love a little kale on my pizza when I have it handy."  Holly's other kale recipes include kale with rice, Mexican kale salad, kale pesto, kale chips, kale and sausage soup, and kale mango smoothies. 

Speaking of smoothies, I put blanched kale in a high speed blender with a touch of vanilla and cinnamon. I added blanched seasonal produce like squash, apples, carrots or pears for baby/toddler food my grandkids liked.

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RDFYjolf Says:
06/11/2024 6:54pm

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