Kristin’s Massaged Winter Kale Salad for Two

Massaged Winter Kale Salad for 2

If you haven’t yet read about the vibrant Kristin Pearson, farmer extraordinaire and owner of Pearson’s Organics CSA, head on over here for her inspiring story. In this post, she shares a delicious way to use the greens from your produce box. Not only is this salad nutritious for your body, it’s also good for your soul because you get to dig your hands right into the bowl and give your food a good massage!

Kristin Pearson's Massaged Kale Salad
Photo by Katrina Gasser

Preheat oven to 400ºF.

Cubed sweet potatoes for Kristin Pearson's massaged kale salad

Peel and chop 2 sweet potatoes into 1/2 inch cubes.  Toss with salt, olive oil, and maple syrup. Place on baking sheet and roast for 20 to 30 minutes. Roast until cubes can be easily pierced with a fork and have crispy “carmely” edges.

Massaging the kale

Discard the ribs from the kale leaves. You can slice them out with a sharp knife or rip them out by running your fingers along either side of the stem.  (I love doing this.)  Keep the leafy part.  Tear or chop up the large kale leaves. Place in a bowl with a light sprinkling of salt. Gently knead the leaves for 3 to 5 minutes, similar to how you knead bread.  You can rub the kale leaves together between your fingers, until they just start to wilt and get soft and pliable.  If massaging the kale sounds too out of the box for you, you can combine the raw kale leaves with the ribs removed (the fun part) and olive oil and a squeeze of lemon and let them soften overnight in your fridge!

Massaging helps decrease the bitterness as it helps to release sugars within the leaves. It also really softens the leaves and makes kale more enjoyable to eat!

Kristen says, “Don’t be afraid to really go for it! This should take a couple minutes.

Sprinkle kale with warm sweet potato cubes, pomegranate seeds, and slivered almonds.

Drizzle with your favorite dressing.

Kristen loves to use a warm sesame oil and apple cider vinegar dressing.

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Sesame Oil and Apple Cider Vinegar Dressing
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  1. Whisk apple cider vinegar, olive oil, sesame oil and soy sauce.
  2. In a mini food processor combine the toasted sesame seeds and garlic and process until fine pieces.
  3. Combine all ingredients together.
Recipe Notes
  • Gluten Free – I used 3 tablespoons of Tamari instead of soy sauce
  • Use one clove and then taste it and add more to taste. I thought 1 clove was enough.
  • I used ginger root instead of ground ginger and it sparked up the flavor.
  • Toasted Sesame Seeds – Toast in a dry skillet for 3 to 5 minutes stirring very often or bake in a 350°F oven on a dry cookie sheet for 8 to 10 minutes. Check them at 5 minutes. They will burn very easily. I skipped the toasted sesame seeds and the salad was great without them.
  • Recipe source.
Massaged Kale Salad on a red heart plate for Valentine's Day

I made this for my  Valentine’s celebration with Katrina and Cate Gasser! There is something special about celebrating special days with your college friends!

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