Before I urge you to go massage a kale (I admit it does sound a little naughty), let me tell you that not in a million years I would think this step to be necessary. In fact, I used to go into compulsive eye-rolling while reading recipes that call for “massaged kale”. I was not the only one, the lovely Kelly from Inspired Edibles had this to say about the process:
When I first encountered the term ‘massaged kale’ I found it not only pretentious but kind of silly too.
Had kale been elevated to such a precious status that it now required massaging?
I couldn’t just eat the stuff, I needed to pet it too?
I could not have said it better. But, surprisingly enough, she decided to give it a try, and was blown away by the outcome. You should definitely stop by her site to read about her experience. I was skeptical, but after her endorsement, I dimmed the lights, put some music on, and fully engaged in the role of masseuse.
MASSAGED KALE SALAD WITH FRESH APRICOT & SPICY SKILLET CHICKPEAS
(slightly modified from Kelly’s Inspired Edibles)
for the salad:
1 generous bunch kale leaves, washed and torn into smaller bite-sized pieces
1 (15 oz) chickpeas, thoroughly rinsed and dried
6 fresh apricots, sliced
1/3 cup shaved almond, slightly toasted
for the spice mix:
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp curry powder
pinch smoked paprika
pinch of ground cinnamon
sea salt to taste
for the Massage Oil (aka salad dressing):
2 Tbsp olive oil
juice of one lime (about 2 Tbsp)
1 tsp honey
sea salt and coarse black pepper to taste
Warm a dry skillet over medium-high heat and toss chickpeas in warmed skillet for about two minutes to remove any residual moisture. Be sure to shake the pan and/or stir the chickpeas.
Sprinkle the chickpeas with seasonings of choice. including salt and pepper. Stir seasoned chickpeas to mix the spices. After about two minutes, drizzle a little bit of coconut or olive oil over the seasoned chickpeas and toss to combine. Keep stirring the chickpeas and adjust seasonings as desired. When the chickpeas are well saturated with flavor, remove from heat and reserve.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl combine salad dressing ingredients and whisk well.
Place kale pieces in a large mixing bowl and drizzle with dressing. Simply use your fingers to work the oil/dressing into the kale leaves – watch and feel the color/texture transformation. After only two minutes your kale is beautifully seasoned and softened and all set to eat. You will also find that it’s easier during the massage stage to remove any excessively hard pieces from the center rib of the kale. The leaves will fall off the rib quite easily and your fingers will be in place to feel it happen and facilitate the process.
Place massaged kale in large serving bowl, or on individual serving plates, and dress with seasoned chickpeas, fresh apricot and almonds.
to print the recipe, click here
Doesn’t that look pretty amazing?
I wish I could massage my face in the morning and have that type of improvement!
Even though the star of this show should be the kale, I have to say I fell in love with Kelly’s skillet chickpeas. In fact, I’ve been making them this way quite often, varying the spices according to my mood. Those are better than roasted, with the added bonus of being ready in minutes, and without turning the oven on. I had a hard time not munching on half of them before assembling the salad.
I suppose this recipe will please even hard-core kale haters. The massage mellows down the harsh texture of kale, bringing it closer to a butter lettuce, but with a more assertive taste. Of course, joining fresh apricots with the incredibly tasty chickpeas made this salad a complete winner!
I hope you twill try it either as we did, or using different spices and fruits. I think fresh peaches or even strawberries could be fantastic substitutions.
Kelly, thanks again for another super creative and fun recipe!
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THREE YEARS AGO: Chocolate and Chestnut Terrine
FOUR YEARS AGO: Under the spell of lemongrass
FIVE YEARS AGO: Greens + Grapefruit + Shrimp = Great Salad!