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Southern California Gardening: Kale Salad Recipe

Brought to you by Lowe's Creative Ideas

Kale is one of the easiest, tastiest and most healthful greens you can grow in your kitchen garden. Follow this simple recipe for kale salad.

A medley of kale looks and tastes great!
A medley of kale looks and tastes great!

My small cook's garden is only a few steps from our kitchen door, which makes it easy to harvest herbs and veggies for every meal.

Despite its small size, my well-tended, well-loved plot of ground is a dependable super-producer and a riot of colors and unexpected tastes.

A medley of kale looks and tastes great!

The beds of kale never let me down. From autumn through late spring their frills of pink, purple and blue-green, and flutes of near black, red and deep green add zing and crunch to my recipes.

I serve kale raw, braised, baked, sauteed and wilted; in soups or roasted as "chips." But by far my favorite recipe is for "massaged" kale. Massaging the kale tenderizes it and releases its sweet, deep flavors.

radishes and fresh ginger root

I harvest about 20 leaves of fresh kale, clean them thoroughly, remove stems (unless using Dino kale-Lacinato), and cut or tear it into strips about 1/4 inch wide.

The kale goes into a large bowl, and I sprinkle the leaves with half a teaspoon of salt. Before adding more salt, I taste...and taste again.

Then I grab another handful of leaves, squeeze, grab another handful, squeeze, and keep working until the texture changes, the color deepens, and the kale sweats and softens.

sliced radishes and diced apples added to final mix

Massaged Kale
(serves 4)

5 tablespoons lemon juice, orange juice or seasoned rice vinegar
4 tablespoons honey
20 kale leaves
1 apple, diced
4 radishes, sliced
2 teaspoons fresh ginger, grated
1/4 cup sunflower seeds

In a small bowl whisk together the lemon juice, orange juice or seasoned rice vinegar and honey; pour over the kale. Add apple, radishes and ginger; sprinkle with pepper and toss. Cover bowl tightly and chill before serving.

Your "massaged" kale salad is low in calories, brims with vitamins A, K, and C and has 5 grams of fiber and antioxidants. Can you see why kale is king in my garden and on my table?