The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Kale salad

Kale salad

If you're like us, you've been eating kale nearly daily for the last two or three months, and have another two or three months of the same ahead.  Sure, the green is absolutely delectable sauted with a little balsamic vinegar, but at some point you're itching for a raw winter vegetable straight from the January garden.  That's when you pull out this winter kale salad.

Squeezed kale

The innovative part of this recipe came from Taproot Magazine.  An article there explained how to use a bit of salt and elbow grease to wilt down your kale without heat.  First, remove the big midribs, then slice the leaves up into small segments.  Sprinkle a very small amount of salt on top (maybe 1/8 tsp to serve two), then use your hands to squeeze and mush the kale for two solid minutes.  The kale will keep its delicious, fresh taste, but will be much more easily eaten raw.

Kale salad dressing

You can top the kale salad with whatever you want, but this is our current favorite.  First, I grate a very small carrot (about 1/4 of a store-bought carrot size) into the kale, then I mix up a homemade salad dressing out of toasted poppy seeds, peach syrup that was supposed to be jam but didn't gel, some lemon juice to cut the sweet, a bit of olive oil, and a dash of pepper.  I usually don't like salad dressings, but this one really works with the kale and carrots.  Top it all off with a special store-bought treat --- avocados --- and you have a vegetable side that will disappear very, very quickly.  Enjoy!

Anna Hess's books
Want more in-depth information? Browse through our books.

Or explore more posts by date or by subject.

About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

Want to be notified when new comments are posted on this page? Click on the RSS button after you add a comment to subscribe to the comment feed, or simply check the box beside "email replies to me" while writing your comment.

Thanks for relaying that idea about softening with salt... Thank you for your wonderful homestead, blog, books, etc.
Comment by Aggie Sun Jan 12 09:34:44 2014
Anna, it would be great if you posted the proportions/measurements for the ingredients, for the dressing, for your kale salad!
Comment by Maggie Turner Sun Jan 12 09:35:10 2014

Maggie --- I know, it would be wonderful, but I didn't measure. :-) Here's my best guess for what I did, but keep in mind this made enough to dress about ten salads:

  • 3 tbsp poppy seeds (toasted on tray in toaster oven until the flavor changes, but don't burn them!)
  • 0.5 cups peach syrup
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice (concentrated kind from bottle)
  • 1.5 tbsp olive oil
  • a bit of pepper
Comment by anna Sun Jan 12 10:02:48 2014

Ah... I only WISH. We still had garden kale, but even the heartiest of our garden greens finally succumbed to below zero temps.
This does sound good. I had an orange marmalade that didnt set up firmly, and might try that in a dressing as well.

One of my artist friends has a saying - he says he "smuggles red" into every landscape painting. These little bits of red balance out the overwhelming green of the typical landscape., but they are hardly noticeable unless you start looking. Well, I pretty much "smuggle kale" ( or chard, or spinach, or turnip greens) into just about everything I cook, They have even been known to show up in desserts-. And now that I bought the dandelion book ( thanks for that tip!) maybe I will add dandelion greens to the list too! The other day, I made " stuffed grape leaves" -only used kale, or maybe it was chard... I boiled the leaves, minus the big stems, in a vinegar/ salt brine just till wilted, and used them to wrap up a filling.... New way to eat the greens and very tasty!

Comment by Deb Sun Jan 12 23:02:22 2014

I do Kale salad all the time with just lemon juice, olive oil, salt, pepper, and a little parmesean and bread crumbs.

Adding a little acid during the 'elbow grease' phase helps it break down, too. I've never done a full two minutes of rough-housing and it turns out fine. I remember reading, too, that you should always eat your greens (especially kale and cooking greens) with some fat since there are a number of fat soluble vitamins that will be unavailable without it. Has anyone else heard this, too, or am I making it up?

Comment by Stephen Tue Jan 14 12:44:38 2014

profile counter myspace

Powered by Branchable Wiki Hosting.

Required disclosures:

As an Amazon Associate, I earn a few pennies every time you buy something using one of my affiliate links. Don't worry, though --- I only recommend products I thoroughly stand behind!

Also, this site has Google ads on it. Third party vendors, including Google, use cookies to serve ads based on a user's prior visits to a website. Google's use of advertising cookies enables it and its partners to serve ads to users based on their visit to various sites. You can opt out of personalized advertising by visiting this site.