Winter Kale Salad with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and A Lemon-Garlic Dressing
I remember ordering a kale salad once and it was literally raw kale cut up on my plate. You would think it was a garnish, but no, I believe they meant you to eat it. Needless to say, it was honestly quite inedible. What sets this kale salad apart is the massaging of it. You sprinkle some salt onto the raw kale and massage it. The massaging with the salt helps to “break down” the cellular structure of the kale so it’s not so tough. And this is the key: to massage it enough that it shrinks to half it’s original size. This takes about 5 minutes, but can feel like forever because you want to massage until your arms ache, and then massage some more. Seriously. A good indication your about done is when the kale starts to get slightly moist. And if you haven’t quit at this point, congratulations, you’ve done it right.
Another key aspect to this salad is the sun dried tomatoes. It’s the tang of the sun dried tomatoes that adds a really nice pop to each bite, and they pair perfectly with the nutty, fatty avocado and salty feta cheese. We have substituted the sun dried tomatoes for fresh tomatoes, and these were fresh tomatoes from our garden mind you! But it was still just not the same. We’ve used sun dried tomatoes that are marinating in oil and those that were by themselves, dry–either work well here.
Originally we did not have the grated carrots or cucumber added, but found the extra fresh vegetables were really nice. In addition, we served this salad pre-dressed, which is not something we often do, but it made it more complete and really brought everything together.
If your looking for a salad that stands out from the rest, is a bit heartier than it’s counterparts, takes a bit (okay maybe a lot) more effort but is well worth it, look no further! All jokes aside, this really is [still] the tastiest kale salad I’ve ever had the pleasure of making.
What You’ll Need:
- 2 small bundles raw kale, stems removed, tore into small pieces and washed
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 green onions, chopped
- 2 oz sun dried tomatoes (about 1/3 cup), chopped into small pieces
- 1 large avocado, peeled, pitted and chopped
- About 4 oz (1/4 cup) feta cheese, crumbled
- 1 whole cucumber, chopped into quarter size pieces
- 1-2 carrots, shredded
for the dressing:
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- splash of red wine vinegar
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- freshly ground black pepper
- salt to taste
What to Do:
- Combine kale with a teaspoon of salt and massage until kale is wilted and volume has decreased by half; 5-10 minutes. An important step you do not want to skimp on!
- Top with grated carrots, cucumber, green onion, sun dried tomatoes, avocados, and feta.
- In a small bowl or jar, whisk olive oil, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, garlic, salt and pepper until combined and pour over the kale salad. Toss to coat dressing and mix topping together
- Taste, and add more olive oil, or lemon juice if it looks a bit dry and serve immediately. Can be made a night ahead of time, but I would wait to dress it until the last minute.
Serving size: 3-5