Massaging Raw Kale for Salads: Awesome... or Just Dumb?

Massaging Raw Kale for Salads: Awesome... or Just Dumb?

Emma Christensen
Oct 30, 2012

Kale salads are definitely having their moment! You'll find one on almost every trendy restaurant menu, and it seems like I get a new kale salad recipe popping up in my blog feed every time I check. But I've found that there's one step for making these kale salads that often makes people balk: massaging the kale. Do you massage, or is this getting a little too intimate with your food?

I'll raise my hand as being among the kale massagers. As Emily pointed out in her post on making a better kale salad, I find that rubbing the dressing into the raw leaves helps to soften them up and makes sure the whole salad is well-seasoned. Tossing them like a normal salad just leaves a puddle of vinaigrette at the bottom of the bowl and a bunch of tough tasteless leaves on my fork.

I wonder if it's the term "massaging" that turns people off? It does sound a little...foodie pretentious, to be sure. I could also see how sticking your bare hands in a bowl of salad greens could also seem a little crazy at first!

How do you feel about massaging your kale? Yay or nay?

Related: The Ultimate Best Kitchen Tool? Your Hands!

(Image: Megan Gordon)

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