Massaged Kale Salad Recipe with Apple and Dates

by katerina on December 18, 2009

Firstly, for anyone wondering why in the world anyone would massage kale, let me enlighten you. Rubbing kale with salt draws out the bitterness, letting it be more delicious if eaten raw. (Similar to salting and draining eggplant to remove bitterness.)

I had been wanting to try making a raw kale salad for awhile now, I have had a similar salad at a salad bar before and it was lovely.  I looked at several recipes, and they were all dead easy.  Some are really simple with just lemon juice, olive oil, and salt, and some are jazzed up with blue cheese and raisins.  For my first try I decided to go halfway. I added the sweet dates and apples to counteract any sharpness in the kale and vinegar and it worked out lovely.

This is actually my third raw recipe (I previously made raw donut holes and a raw broccoli salad),  I have liked each and every one, although it is not a lifestyle I would want to tackle.  Has anyone else tried any raw recipes?

Print Recipe

Massaged Kale Salad Recipe with Apple and Dates

(serves 2)

1 bunch kale
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 apple
2 medjool dates
1 teaspoon splash olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

Wash the kale and spin or pat it dry. Remove the stems and discard. Chop the kale into thin strips about 1/4-1/2″ long and put in a bowl. Sprinkle with the salt and massage with your hands for 1-2 minutes. The kale should start to release a green liquid. Allow to sit for a few minutes while you prep the other ingredients.

Wash the apple and chop it into thin slices. Remove the seeds from the dates and cut into quarters lengthwise. Chop pieces into 1/4″ bite size morsels.

Using a paper towel squeeze any excess liquid out of kale and transfer to a salad bowl, toss with apple and dates, drizzle with oil and vinegar and season with pepper. Taste and correct with acid, salt and pepper.

Calories(approximate per serving): 75

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

marathonmaiden December 18, 2009 at 3:27 pm

heh to massaging kale. made me smile trying to picture it — talk about loving your food :)


Anonymous December 18, 2009 at 3:28 pm

So you don't rinse all that salt off the kale before mixing with the other ingredients? Seems to me like it would be overpoweringly salty.


Katerina December 18, 2009 at 3:30 pm

anon – the paper towel actually picked up quite a bit of the salt. If you try rinsing it off first left me now!


Joanne December 20, 2009 at 3:04 pm

I have heard of this technique before but haven't tried it yet, even though I love kale. I love that you added apples and dates for sweetness. Great way to liven up any salad!

Some salad recipes I've tried have been raw by default. Dan at Casual Kitchen did this fun experiment where he went raw for a week. It was really interesting to read about!


Hungry Dog December 20, 2009 at 7:21 pm

Wow, this is so interesting–I would never think to eat kale raw. But of course you're right, salting it would remove a good deal of the bitterness. I'll have to try it.


Jennifer December 22, 2009 at 3:14 pm

I have to say kale is one thing that I dont cook with enough! I love it and need to more often. You have totally inspired me by this dish, will be making very soon!


I Heart Kale December 22, 2009 at 5:40 pm

Massaging kale is the best! I've found that as long as my other salad ingredients aren't too salty (I like to do this with avocado, some grated carrot and nuts or seeds) the salt isn't an issue.


Kevin January 8, 2010 at 9:42 am

I love the sweetness of apple and dates, love kale.
Eating raw is more healthier.
Thanks for the recipe. Will try this


Biryani Recipes July 13, 2010 at 4:41 am

This looks gorgeous. Iwill try to make it. I hope this is delicious.


Todra March 13, 2012 at 5:19 pm

I’ve made this recipe three times now and really love it. I thought it only right that I pop by to tell you. I’m making it tonight, as a matter of fact. In the summer, we’re mostly raw, but in the winter, we just add raw recipes to our regular vegan diet. Thanks for posting.


katerina March 20, 2012 at 11:31 am

So glad you are enjoying it Todra! I can’t say I am vegan or raw, but I love variety.


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