The other day, after an hour of weight training, Cyndi, my trainer offered me a large bunch of freshly picked kale. She said she did not know quite what to do with this large, ruffly and leafy green. I knew exactly what to do with it! There are so many ways to prepare kale – it can be sautéed or baked into crisp chips. My favorite way to enjoy kale is in a chopped salad.
I mentioned this salad in my post Farmer’s Market Meal – Anniversary Dinner, although at that time I did not include the recipe. Since that post I’ve enjoyed different variations of this nutritious salad at two of my favorite lunch spots, Delisheee Yo on Hilton Head Island and 10 Market in Habersham, both in Beaufort County, South Carolina.
What draws me to this raw salad is that by adding your favorite ingredients, or using what you have on hand, it can be savory or a bit sweet, or both at the same time. I had on hand and decided to add brussel sprouts, crystallized ginger and a red onion. Other times I’ve added dried cranberries and goat cheese.
Here’s the recipe I used this time –
1 large bunch of fresh, ruffly kale, stems removed
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp kosher salt
1 bag fresh brussel sprouts, stemmed and sliced into slaw
1/2 red onion, sliced very thin
4 pieces of crystallized ginger, sliced very thin
4 tsp sunflower seeds, to sprinkle on salad
2 Tsp honey
2 Tsp balsamic white vinegar
- Remove stems from kale leaves.
- Put the kale leaves into a bowl, drizzle approximately one-quarter cup of good, extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle 1 teaspoon of kosher salt over the kale leaves.
- Now the fun part. Massage the olive oil and salt into all of the leaves. The kale is ready when the olive oil is absorbed. Take your time and enjoy the experience. There is a dual benefit to this process – the kale leaves become supple and easy to chew and your hands get the most amazing softening treatment. Rather than wash my hands after the ‘kale massage’ I usually rub the olive oil into my hands.
- Remove kale a handful at a time, place on cutting board and rough chop the kale into bite sized pieces. Return to the bowl.
- Add the thinly sliced brussel sprouts, crystallized ginger and onion to the bowl of chopped kale leaves.
- Whisk together the honey and balsamic white vinegar and pour over brussel sprouts, ginger and red onion. Toss together. Taste for salt. Adjust as needed.
- Plate salad and sprinkle with a teaspoon of sunflower seeds. Note: I sometimes add a protein like chicken or fish to the salad for a complete meal.
Makes 4 large yummy and delicious servings! Also, this salad stores well in the refrigerator for a day or two because the kale, brussel sprouts, onion and ginger maintain their crispness and crunchy texture.