Massaged Kale Salad #BloggerCLUE

The holidays can be rough on everyone– and everything. Your wallet, your energy, your diet. As we head into a fresh, new 2016, everyone needs some rejuvenating… a massage even. You, me, a couple bunches of kale. We deserve it. 

With all the resolutions, vows to quit sugar, exercise more, drink less… it is easy to get overwhelmed. Luckily, the Blogger C.L.U.E. crew has your sorted. This month the theme is healthy eating recipes so you can stack your meal calendar with good (for you) food galore. 

This Massaged Kale Salad is where it’s at. Give it a go.  

Kale Salad

This month I was paired with Deb at Eliot’s Eats, a blog named after her sweet-faced kitty (who is named after T.S. Eliot). Beyond cooking, eating and a love for travel, we have kitties and an English Major in common. All good things in my book. 

Eliot’s Eats blog is loaded with healthy options and appetizing ideas, but I knew her Massaged Kale Salad was perfect for this theme as soon as I saw it. I figured I could whip up a batch and have it for dinner and lunch at work, two birds, one stone and all. I especially loved the idea of making extra dressing to have for meals later in the week. As Deb said–“This recipe is quite versatile.  Any kind of acid can be used.  I have used lemon juice, red wine vinegar, Champagne vinegar and even apple cider vinegar.   The dressing is delicious on any greens and I usually make a double batch just so I can have a jar in the refrigerator.”

Go have a look at Eliot’s Eats, there is so much scrumptious to choose from.

This is officially one of new favorite salads. I hope you like it, too. 




I decided to switch up the recipe ever so slightly and used two types of kale. I love the balance of texture between the two, and the extra color. I went with lacinto and curly kale,  then removed the ribs, washed well and tore into one inch pieces with my hands. Once you have torn into easy to manage pieces, place in a large bowl to settle, then drain any excess water. I hold a paper towel over the top to help keep all the kale in, and get the water out. Then, while resting, blend the vinaigrette, add in 4 parts to the kale and continue to massage. Let sit for about 10 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. I like to give it a little drizzle of olive oil to finish with an extra sprinkle of Parmesan. 


Massaged Kale Salad
Serves 4
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
5 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
5 min
  1. 2 bunches kale (about 7 cups) (I used one bunch lacinto and one curly)
  2. 1/2 c. freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  3. 1/3 c. extra-virgin olive oil
  4. 1/4 c. champagne vinegar
  5. 1-2 Tablespoon(s) freshly squeezed meyer lemon juice
  6. 3 large cloves garlic, minced
  7. 1 T. soy sauce
  8. 1/2 t. freshly ground pepper
  9. 1/4 t. fine sea salt
  10. 1/4 c. toasted pine nuts
  1. Strip kale leaves from the ribs/stems (discard stems). Wash and dry the leaves. Tear the leaves into bite-size pieces and place in a large bowl. In a blender, add the Parmesan (less a tablespoon or so to use for topping the salad), oil, vinegar, garlic, soy sauce, pepper and salt. Pulse until emulsified and cheese is evenly blended. Add dressing 1/4 cup at a time to the bowl.
  2. With clean hands, firmly massage and crush the greens to work in the dressing. Stop when the volume of greens is reduced by about half. Add more dressing as necessary. The greens should look a little darker and somewhat shiny. Taste and adjust seasoning with more salt and pepper, if desired.
  3. Add pine nuts before serving.
  1. Adjust the oil, lemon juice, vinegar to taste. This is a very versatile dressing that you can swap different vinegars or acids, in or out. I went with champagne vinegar and meyer lemons becuase they are two of my favorite flavors to work with. Have fun with it!


I absolutely love the flavor of pine nuts, I just have to caution you… if you have never had pine mouth, I hope you never do, it can be brutal on your tastebuds. Basically, it makes everything taste FOUL for days after you eat pine nuts. They way to prevent it, or try to, is to NOT purchase pine nuts sourced in China. It can be hard to find, but look for other areas like Spain or Italy. 

Sorry to be a bummer… but I wanted to give you the head’s up. On to better news–toasted pine nuts, they’re amazing.

Toast the pine nuts in a pan over medium heat, tossing them in the pan until they are golden. Set aside until ready to top the salad. 



Of course I had to pump up the antioxidants and have a glass of Chianti while I massaged the glorious greens. Good stuff– I recommend the combination. 


Massaging the kale, although it sounds silly, is key to a tender salad. Kale can be stiff and lack flavor if you don’t take time to finesse the flavor right out of those stubborn little leaves. With all the love kale gets, it still just needs a little TLC.

Massage the leaves until they are shiny and have reduced in the bowl about half. You can see from the pictures how much I started out with to what you will end up with. 



I decided to pair the salad with some lemon chicken for a nice, low-carb, dinner. It was the perfect combination and I can’t wait to try it again. Light, super flavorful and best part- no guilt!



 Hop on through all the healthy posts…

What is your favorite healthy new year meal or recipe?


Happy 2016! 


Happy, Healthy Dishing! 


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