Massaged Raw Kale Salad Recipe


Yeah, it happened to me too at the end of the year-I couldn’t resist eating the homemade goodies that arrived in little cellophane gift bags tied with pretty ribbons.  Full disclosure: I could resist most cookies but not the homemade almond roca or the toffee.  So, as the New Year begins, I am sharing my antidote for replacing the sweet taste that might still be clinging to your palate, and derailing your healthy food choices too.

At Parsley Farm, lacinato kale, or commonly referred to as dinosaur kale, is our primary winter food crop.  All the cruciferous vegetables grow well in the Pacific Northwest climate, but kale, in particular, seems to thrive. And if it thrives, we thrive.  Unlike cabbage, broccoli or Brussels sprouts, which mature for a one-time harvest, kale, a plant that keeps on giving throughout the seasons, will continue to generate growth when some of its leaves are picked as it develops. If you start your plants in the spring, by fall they will mature into big leafy plants, mighty manufacturers of nutrient dense nutrition for picking throughout the winter.

Kale is a medicinal money tree as far as I’m concerned.  With many large plants growing in my garden, I feel rich. In Chinese medicine, we view kale as slightly bitter which benefits the liver and heart.  All dark green vegetables nourish the blood, but kale also has a detoxifying effect, which can be helpful for anyone with cancer thus my strong attraction to this plant. It is also helpful for lowering cholesterol.  Besides being rich in vitamins such as Vit A, C and K, it is also a good source of iron, magnesium and calcium.

Massaging raw kale is my favorite way to prepare it because by manually breaking down the cell walls, we render it into a tender, digestible and delicious dish.  The shiny deep dark green leaves seem to transform into something more akin to seaweed with all the nutrient richness of chlorophyll coming to the surface, but with none of the fishy taste. Below is my basic recipe because I like the simple, clean taste of the kale itself with a little red onion, but it can be fancied up with red pepper, olives or sprouts, or whatever else you might imagine.

Parsley Farm

Massaged Raw Kale Salad


1 bunch kale

1 – 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar (or, any other acid: ½ lemon or lime; rice vinegar, apple cider vinegar)

1/8 cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 pinches of sea salt (adjust to taste)

¼ cup red onion sliced thinly

First, cut the stems out of the kale.


Roll up a few de-stemmed leaves at a time and then slice them into narrow bite size pieces.


Put all of the sliced kale into a bowl, add 2 pinches of salt and drizzle olive oil over the greens.  After washing your hands, massage the kale with your hands for 2 -3 minutes until they soften and wilt, and become visibly darker.  Add your vinegar and stir.  Add sliced red onion, and any other additions such as red pepper, olives or sprouts.  Toss, serve, and eat ALLOT.