Don’t skip salads just because the weather has shifted. This beautiful massaged kale winter salad features produce that is currently in season. It’s impressive enough for Christmas and New Year’s festivities, but easy and healthy enough to enjoy any day.
It reminds me of a salad you could get at a restaurant like Panera, but it’s far less expensive. And this recipe is suitable for dairy-free, gluten-free, vegan, Whole30, and paleo diets.
Recipe Notes: Massaged Kale Winter Salad
Why to Massage Kale – I’m a “bitter taster” so I’ve never been a fan of foods like kale. I’m sure many of you are in the same boat, or perhaps you just don’t like so much roughage. Well massaging kale isn’t just a therapeutic endeavor. It actually breaks down the leaves to make them more tender. And somehow, I don’t know the science behind it, massaging kale mellows the flavor and makes it less bitter. I still don’t like regular kale salads, but massaged kale won me over.
Consider Candied Pecans – For a little something special, you can add the sweet, crunchy contrast of chopped candied pecans. The recipe includes a paleo option, but if you are following the Whole30 diet, I would stick with the plain pecans.
This massaged kale winter salad recipe with photo was shared with us by American Pecans.
Special Diet Notes: Massaged Kale Winter Salad
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, gluten-free, peanut-free, soy-free, vegan, vegetarian, and paleo-friendly.
For a nut-free massaged kale salad, you can omit the pecans or swap in sunflower seed kernels.
- 1 bunch kale, stems removed and shredded
- 3 tablespoons + ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 2 small pears, cored and sliced
- ¾ cup pecan halves
- ½ cup pomegranate seeds
- ⅓ cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons course grain mustard
- Pinch kosher salt
- Pinch freshly ground black pepper
- Place the kale in a large bowl. Drizzle it with the 3 tablespoons olive oil. Massage the kale for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the kale deepens in color and begins to tenderize.
- Add the pears, pecans and pomegranate seeds and toss to combine.
- Put the remaining ⅓ cup olive oil, apple cider vinegar, mustard, salt, and pepper in a jar and secure the lid. Shake until the dressing emulsifies.
- Drizzle the dressing over the salad and toss to coat.
- Serve immediately or let the salad marinate for up to 30 minutes.