One day last week, I was in no mood to cook anything. Ron volunteered to swing by the grocery store to pick up items to grill. My only request was to bring home some kind of lighter salad from the deli for a side dish. I was shocked when he came home with a kale salad. First of all, shocked that Ron bought anything with kale in it and second that the grocery store he went to had such a thing. Most deli items from that store are mayo with a side of a vegetable. Yuck.
It was love at first taste. I declared that I needed to recreate it. Isn’t real food just so pretty?
A word about kale – I personally don’t like it raw. I love it steamed, as kale chips and in dishes. But raw….ick. It is rather bitter and tastes like eating grass. Not that I’ve ever eaten grass but you know what I mean. A couple of years ago, I learned two secrets to make your kale taste even better:
1. Remove the stems when you plan on eating it raw, the stems are the bitter part of the plant. I used to always use the stems and wonder why my kale salads tasted ridiculously bitter. Now I just use the leaves and the bitter taste is gone.
2. Massage the dressing into the leaves and let it ‘marinate’ for at least 10-15 minutes or longer. A kale salad tastes best when the dressing has had a chance to soak into the leaves. This also helps soften the leaves which is especially important if you are using the curly variety.
When I started using these tips, my kale salads went from bitter and hard to swallow to mind-blowing delicious!
- 2 bunches of kale, stems removed
- 1 cucumber chopped
- ½ of red onion, chopped
- ½ cup Goji berries
- ½ cup roasted sunflower seeds
- 1 pint fresh blueberries
- ½ cup Extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- salt and pepper to taste
- Place dressing ingredients in a small bowl. Whisk together.
- Place kale in large bowl. Pour dressing over it. Using your hands, massage the dressing into the leaves for 5 minutes.
- Place cucumber, red onion, Goji berries, sunflower seeds and blueberries in with massaged kale.
- Using your hands or with a spoon, gently mix.
- Place in refrigerator to "marinate" for 10-15 minutes or longer for maximum flavor.
The nice thing about this salad is that you can mix in your own variations of superfoods too. Adding diced avocado, walnuts or almonds, pears, apples or any fresh berry you can think of. Serving it alongside salmon, perhaps? Perfection!