The Secret to Delicious Kale Salad

Every summer my husband and I travel to visit his family in the Berkshires. We have a handful of favorite dinner spots scattered among the hills that we try to frequent whenever we’re in the area. The food is always wonderful and made from local produce. On our last visit, we stopped by The Dreamaway, a quirky old institution in the Berkshires famous for its colorful history and live music. As I perused the menu, I was drawn to the kale salad. I have a serious weakness for kale. It’s such a nutritional powerhouse- vitamins K, A, and C not to mention fiber, manganese, calcium, and potassium! Now, I’m sure many you have experienced one of downsides of eating raw kale: texture. It can often feel like you’re burning all your calories just trying to chew the darn stuff. Enter my epiphany at The Dreamaway: when my salad arrived, it was the most incredible, tender kale salad I had ever eaten. I ate every single morsel on that plate and considered ordering a second. When our server came by to check on us, I had to ask, “What on earth do you do to make this kale so tender?!” Her reply… “We massage it.” After our meal, I took a quick trip to The Dreamaway’s kitchen to do some culinary reconnaissance. After a nice chat with the cooks, I had it figured out and here’s what I learned:

Bunch of kale

First, strip the leaves from the stems and wash them. Dry the leaves in a salad spinner or with a dry towel.

Torn kale

Tear the leaves into bite sized pieces and place in a large mixing bowl.

Massage Kale

Lightly drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle a dash of salt over the leaves. Then get your {clean} hands in there and firmly massage all the leaves. You will notice the color change to be slightly darker and brighter.

Finished Kale

Once the kale appears to have reduced in volume by up to half and all the leaves have been rubbed, toss the kale with your favorite dressing and toppings! You will notice it is so much more tender! An added bonus- that olive oil feels great on your hands!

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