Let me first just say I apologize for using the phrase, “Massaged Kale Salad.” It sounds a bit too…personal.
But massaging your kale is one of the best ways to soften tough leaves without cooking. The process helps curly leaves to remain crispy, while losing their hard edges. It can also reduce some of the “funk” that people sometimes associate with kale. Win-win!
This recipe has a light and easy olive oil/lemon dressing, but I suppose you could top it with another dressing when serving if you want a more pronounced flavor.
The kale is mixed with a simple almond parmesan made from slivered almonds, nutritional yeast and salt. It’s my go-to basic vegan parm, but you can add a pinch of spice like cayenne or garlic powder to alter the flavor. Because you have the nuts and nutritional yeast, this parm makes the salad more satisfying than you might think.
Note: This recipe makes more parmesan than you need for the kale. Store the remaining amount in the fridge and add to pasta, salads, soups or sauces.
One other thing I like about this recipe is that you can make it in advance. Even though the salad is ‘dressed’ it keeps just fine in the refrigerator for a day or so. (Just wait to add the fresh pomegranate seeds until serving).
As you may have heard me mention before, I don’t love fruit. But I like how these pomegranate seeds add a tart flavor and some color to the salad. They’re not mandatory, so feel free to leave them out. Or, you can try another addition such as diced apple or mango, if you like.
- 1 cup raw blanched slivered almonds
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast flakes
- ½ teaspoon salt (divided in half)
- 1 head curly kale, stems removed, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon lemon zest
- ¼-1/2 cup pomegranate arris (seeds)
- fresh ground pepper to taste
- In a food processor, combine slivered almonds, nutritional yeast and ¼ teaspoon of salt. Process until the consistency of canned parmesan. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine kale, remaining ¼ teaspoon salt, olive oil, lemon juice and lemon zest. Massage with your hands for about 3 minutes until well mixed and kale has softened.
- Stir in ½-3/4 cup of the “almond parmesan” mixture into the kale. Add freshly ground pepper to taste. Serve topped with pomegranate seeds.