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How to make a tender kale salad?

I have seen a lot of raw kale salads around and thought I would try one with some fresh kale I got at the farmer's market. I found the leaves to be really tough and unappetizing, even though the kale was small and freshly picked. I ended up steaming it just slighty to take out the toughness and it was delicious with a Parmesan and lemon dressing, but not exactly a salad per se. Is a kale salad supposed to be so tough, like chewing leaves off a tree? Are there techniques for tenderizing kale for a raw salad?

asked by lloreen over 2 years ago
9 answers 12062 views
Open-uri20130618-25620-8oozhf
added over 2 years ago

If it is raw it will most likely be a bit tough. The thinner you slice it the better and acid of some sort- vinegar or lemon juice seems to help.

Buddhacat
SKK
added over 2 years ago

Remove the ribs and stems and slice. Then put leaves in a bowl and massage with salt and a little lemon juice and let sit. This 'cooks' it a bit. And it will be chewy.

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added over 2 years ago

Raw kale is tough and bitter. Even cooked it is far more tough than many other leafy greens The best thing to do is quickly blanch in saltes water, shock in an ice bath and cut out the stalks from the leaves. Then drain and season.

Buddhacat
SKK
added over 2 years ago

Raw kale is amazingly good if prepped correctly. Kale salads are always requested around here because of the way I prep it. (See above) I am also going to try Nozlee's method. (See above)

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added over 2 years ago

The type of kale matters, too. My favorite for raw salads is a kale that goes by many names: black, Tuscan, or dinosaur kale. It's nubbly looking, but in my experience is much more tender than any of the curly kales or red Russian kale (which I also love, but for braising/other uses!).

Buddhacat
SKK
added over 2 years ago

Qunciferous, I am so glad you added the kind of kale to make salads with! Makes a huge difference. I too only use dino kale for salads.

Img_3788
added over 2 years ago

Thanks, I will try massaging some dinosaur kale - maybe if I light a few candles and put on some jazz it will cooperate this time.

Default-small
added over 2 years ago

I agree re: massaging the kale. My recipe recommended massaging for 2 minutes. I actually ended up doing it for about 6 min. but it was delish! I would only add a third of the salt. Good luck!
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