Super Simple Kale Salad

Did you know kale has a publicist? I once heard a celebrity on the radio mention that they met someone who said she was kale’s P.R. lady. I thought that was so wild, I told everyone I talked to for the next two days. I mean firstly, kale is a vegetable – how do you represent it? How does it have someone working for it? Secondly, I just want to give her a round of applause. Kale has enjoyed many years of fame as a superfood. We’ve been told of the importance of kale in a healthy diet and been encouraged to put it in our smoothies, salads, soups, etc. We’ve heard the cheesy kale puns and seen the apparel, stickers, bags.

Kale is even a popular baby name – I have a cousin named Kale. Kale (the vegetable) is ultra trendy.

My husband, being a little skeptical, did a quick google search and found out that yes, kale does indeed have a publicist. Oberon Sinclair, was hired by the American Kale Association in 2012. She is responsible for the “kale(ing) me softly” gear. She also is connected to acai berry, which has exploded as a superfruit in the last few years. Seriously, nice work kale lady! The woman is kind of amazing at her job. I still can’t get over it.

I haven’t jumped on the acai berry bandwagon but I did get bit by the Kale bug. I loooove kale! I have seen some murmurs lately of kale declining in popularity. Nutritionists pointing out that other vegetables are more nutritious than kale and while it’s beneficial and should be in our diets, it isn’t maybe the superfood it’s been touted as.

I don’t care what they say, you can’t take my kale away from me. My favorite way to eat kale is in salads and baked into chips but I’ll eat it anyway it comes. It’s a delicious way to add more fiber; calcium; sulfur; iron; vitamins A, C, and K; and antioxidants in my diet.

Most of the time that I get kale in a Local Pumpkin box, I serve a super simple kale salad. It goes like this: Kale, dressing, sliced almonds. Super simple. Sure I could dress it up and sometimes I do. But this salad doesn’t need anything more to taste delicious. I’m okay with less chopping and prepping of other things to put on top. I always have my homemade Greek dressing in the fridge and I like the fresh lemon juice with the kale so I usually use that. I have also used lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper; homemade balsamic; or other homemade herby dressings – whatever is in my fridge. The goal is simple here.

Some people don’t like kale salad. My theory is that it’s because kale can be bitter and those people have not had a massaged kale salad. Yes, listen, massaging the kale is an important step. I just prep my kale, toss it in a serving bowl with a little dressing, then get my hands in there tossing, rubbing it between my fingers. Then I let it sit a few minutes while I finish making the rest of the meal because the dressing also helps take out bitterness and I feel like letting it sit a minute helps the flavors to meld.

Kale salad 3

Simple Kale Salad

Greek Dressing Ingredients:

1/2 c. olive oil
1/4 c. freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
¾ tsp. dried oregano
Dash of dried thyme
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Salad Ingredients:

1 bunch kale, washed and dried
Greek dressing, to taste
1 large handful sliced almonds
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Parmesean or other yummy salad cheese, optional

Instructions:

  1. Put all dressing ingredients in a jar, screw a lid on tight and shake it up until oil emulsifies.
  2. Wash and dry kale. Remove and discard stem/ rib. Chop or tear leaves into bite size pieces.
  3. In a bowl, combine kale with a couple of tablespoons of dressing. Massage kale with your fingers for a couple minutes and toss it around, coating all leaves in dressing. Taste and add more dressing if desired. (At this point you can set the salad aside while you finish any other food prep or serve it right away.)
  4. Just before serving sprinkle sliced almonds over top. Add a little more freshly ground black pepper and a pinch of sea salt. Serve and enjoy.

Okay, after writing this post I did a little more reading. If you are fascinated by the P.R. of kale like I am, read How Kale Became Cool. These articles aren’t exactly breaking news but this one is a good overview. My reading and this post are late for the kale craze.

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