I don’t believe I ever had kale until I stepped into Camros. If I did, I might not have liked it as much as Camros’s. As I mentioned in my post the Kale Salad with Tahini Dressing is one of my favourites. It’s in every meal plate picture because there isn’t a visit where I don’t order it.
One day, I decided that I was going to try making it. I tore up kale leaves, removed the hard stem that runs down the middle, added some julienned beets, and then drizzled some tahini dressing. I didn’t like the texture of the kale – it was very waxy, dry and hard to chew. And nothing like the Kale Salad at Camros. I knew I was missing something.
What was I doing wrong? I didn’t think of it until I searched the Internet and came across this post on Massaged Kale Salad. It inspired me to give kale salad another try. After massaging the kale with a bit of olive oil and sea salt, I felt the texture of the kale became softer. It might sound strange to massage your kale, but I assure you it makes all the difference. I was delighted that it was the same texture of the salad at Camros. I also love the tahini dressing at Camros and tried to make my own version of it at home. The first time I made it, it was too much lemon, garlic and vinegar. I’ve tweaked it since then and below is my recipe followed by the Massaged Kale Salad recipe.
Tahini Dressing Recipe
Ingredients (approximately 3-4 servings)
- 3 tbs tahini
- 8 tbs of warm or hot boiled water (I find hot makes it easier to break up the tahini)
- 1/2 tsp of agave nectar (or honey)
- few shakes of sea salt. (approx. 1/4 tsp)
- juice from 1/4 of a lemon
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 3 tbs of olive oil
- 1 tbs of apple cider vinegar
I’d recommend tasting at every step (at least for the first time) – so you can see how the dressing is evolving and adjust to your liking. You might like more garlic then me, less vinegar, more salt, more lemon juice, thicker consistency – add more tahini, thinner consistency – add more water or lemon juice, you get the idea.
Massaged Kale Salad with Beet & Carrot
Ingredients (for 2 servings of salad)
- 1 carrot (peeled)
- approx. 1/3 of a beet (peeled)
- handful of raw nuts (sunflower, pumpkin, or whatever you like)
- 4 stalks of kale (I like curly leaf kale, but use any kind you like).
- ½ tbs of olive oil
- 1/4 tsp of sea salt
- Two bowls (1 small one to hold the carrot/beet mixture, 1 large mixing bowl for kale)
- Mandolin Slicer or Julienne Peeler
Recipe Notes on the Slicer, Peeler, or Grater
- If you own a julienne peeler (I own this one), it will make it really easy to get nice long strips of carrots but I’m still finding it tough to get long strips with the beets. If it works for you and you own a julienne peeler use it for both the beets and carrots.
- If you have a grater, you can use that instead, I just find that the strips aren’t as long.
- If you own a slicer, just slice the beets/carrots then layer and slice (using a knife) as thinly as possible so you have nice thin matchsticks.
- If you don’t have any of these, a) For the carrots, just do your best to slice as thin (about 1/4 of a cm) as possible on a diagonal (to get long match sticks), then slice each of these pieces as thin as possible. b) For the beets, peel the skin then slice them as thin (about 1/4 of a cm) as you can into discs, then slice those discs as thin as possible into match sticks.
- Start with julienning or slicing your carrot into matchsticks (long thin strands). Then do the same for the beet. Add them both into a small bowl. Try to get an even amount of carrots and beets.
- After washing kale, rip it up into bite size pieces and add to a mixing bowl, removing the hard stem in the middle. Make sure kale is as dry as you can get it to avoid adding water to your salad (it will dilute your salad dressing)
- Add olive oil into the bowl and a bit of sea salt. Massage the oil into the leaves with your fingers. You will feel the texture of the kale change and notice the colour brightens up from the oil.
- Add in the carrot and beets
- Drizzle with the Tahini dressing (recipe above) or a dressing of your choice.
Here’s a picture of a Massaged Kale Salad with the Tahini Dressing. I added mixed sprouts and a couple slices of avocado. Yum!
Are you a fan of kale? If you haven’t tried it or had a bad experience, maybe you wanna give the massaged kale a try. If anyone tries any of the above recipes, I’d love to hear from you in the comments.
Hope you have a wonderful Thursday!
Update 05/24/2012: After publishing, I realized my kale stalk count was too low – 2 servings worth should be about 4 stalks. Also, I try to have an even amount of both beets and carrots. I changed the beet amount to “approx.” 1/3 of a beet since the sizes of beets do vary. These changes have been made to the recipe above.