Here it is, the recipe everyone is asking for! From my dear friend’s blog , Mammoth Hearted Moments. As soon as I tasted it I started sharing it, the dish and the recipe. Everyone agrees: its great!
ps I have discovered that in Australia the dino kale Sara mentions at the bottom of her blog as her favourite variety (mine too, especially just picked out of someone’s garden or from the farmers’ markets) its sold more often as Tuscan cabbage or cavolo nero. I’m still trying to work out the difference in the Italian terminology lacinato or cavolo nero… maybe it’s just slightly different varieties… It does work with any kind of kale, the fresher and younger the better!
massaging grandmother kale
November 2, 2010 by Sara
When I first heard about massaging kale I thought it was some kind of hippy-dippy-woo-woo energetic thing. Which, in general, I tend to simultaneously believe in and make fun of. Why not?
I thought massaging kale was like blessing the food (which I also believe in) or not preparing food while angry (firm believer) or singing to chocolate chip cookies to make them taste better (yep, believe that too). There are actual effects from these practices, but they are subtle and most people don’t know why those vegan cupcakes or simple roasted potatoes you just lovingly coaxed into fabulousness with your posi vibes make them want to break out in dance. But massaging kale is not like that.
Those people you feed will know the difference, and not just deep inside of them somewhere they cannot name. When you massage the kale, it looks like you cooked it. It shrinks, it darkens, the flavors develop. It raises raw kale from it’s humble, squeaky knees to the shining green star of the show. As it should be.
The healing benefits of this dark leafy are awesome. Check it:
packed with chlorophyll, obviously
overall strengthening to your system
sweet and slightly bitter taste (benefits pitta types)
eases lung congestion
heals liver, stomach, and immune system
protects eyes from macular degeneration
exceptional source of calcium, iron, and vitamins A and C*
may protect against colon cancer
*p.s. Cynthia Lair says that Vitamin A and calcium are better absorbed when there’s fat present, so don’t be shy with the olive oil!
p.s.s. A lot of this info about healing properties of food I learned from Rebecca Wood ( a wise grandmother herself!)
“Alright, I’m convinced,” you say, “I’ll eat the kale, but how do I go about this massage business?” I’ll tell you.
With clean hands rip the kale leaves from the stalks. Like so:
Then rip it into bite size pieces and throw these bits into salad spinner or a big bowl. How big is bite size? Well, how big is your bite? We leave ours in pretty big chunks, then I mince some for Blue at the very end.
At this point, Blue gets super into this project and kale gets everywhere. If you have toddler help, you must be a patient but swift kale ninja, swooping up flying precious green gems from midair. Back in the bowl! If you train for many years, you can do this with chop sticks. I digress.
Submerge the greens in water to clean them. Drain. Spin in salad spinner – a wicked useful kitchen appliance I once scoffed at in my blazing ignorance. The salad spinner is rad. If you don’t have one, then dry the kale by rolling it in a towel or whatever genius method you no doubt already know because you don’t have a spinner.
Go ahead, get into it!
Which is apparently easier to do if you take your pants off.
Once the kale is dry, transfer it to a large salad bowl.
Sprinkle salt (1 tsp. per bunch of kale) over the kale. Now massage.
Kale is the grandmother of the cabbage family. As you would expect of a hardy grandma who loves you, this wizened old granny knows what’s best for ya and is gonna give your taste buds a loving slap upside the head!
Here’s how we ate ours. By this time, I was losing light, so the pictures just were not happening, but I wanted you to see how much the kale shrank from the sweet massage we gave it. See it in the corner there?
A vegan and sloppier (in a good way, I say) version of the kale salad in Cynthia Lair’s Feeding the Whole Family:
Ingredients (all organic or better):
3 bunches of kale* (our whole family is apparently much hungrier than hers. they ate 1 bunch)
3 tsp. sea salt
1 enormous fuji apple diced small or 2 if your apples are not crazy big
1 medium sized red onion diced small
1 big handful raw sunflower seeds, toasted in a skillet on medium heat
1 big handful currants
6 Tbsps. unfiltered apple cider vinegar
generous pour of extra virgin olive oil. I said generous.
Toss all the ingredients together and adjust the salt and vinegar if need be. Eat a belly full now and put some in the fridge for later, too. It’s a really good one to have on hand in case you are short on time, but you still need to get your daily greens in. Yes, you need to be eating green stuff daily. This is a super quick and easy way to get a bowl full of green granny love. You can usually get kale on the cheap, too. Try it!
*my favorite variety of kale, pictured above, is Dino Kale. It is sometimes called lacinato, italian, or tuscan kale.