Give Now

Earth Eats: Real Food, Green Living

Massaged Kale Salad

Giving the kale a good, thorough back rub for this recipe. It tenderizes it and make it easier to chew.


Photo: Eoban Binder/WFIU

This salad may not look like much, but it packs a citrus punch.

Grandma used to cook kale for me when I was young and I hated it! She included it in what us kids called Dumb Soup, with kielbasa, potatoes and chunky over-cooked vegetables. If I only knew then what I know now about kale!

This dish is raw, so no worry about over-cooking the greens. It’s a salad that is traditionally served with the Brazilian dish feijoada, which is a stew with black beans and pork — and I mean all parts of the pig.

This time of year, you can probably still find some local farmers growing kale in hoop houses or greenhouses, so check your local farmers market for the fresh stuff. It stores well in the fridge, too. Wash and dry it thoroughly and place it in a plastic bag with holes. It will last 2-3 weeks like that.

Some tips for this recipe: Use fresh lemon and orange juices. It makes such a difference when the juice comes from the actual fruit! That, and don’t over-salt your greens! Remember, you can always add more but you can’t take it out once you’ve put it in.

Massaged Kale Salad


  • 2 cups kale
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup mint
  • pinch black pepper
  • pinch kosher salt (only a pinch!)
  • juice of half a lemon
  • juice of half an orange
  • sliver of lemon peel, very finely diced into zest

Cooking Directions

  1. Slice kale into thin ribbons, or chiffonade. Rough cut mint leaving large pieces.
  2. Combine kale, mint, seasonings and juices. Massage kale forcefully for several minutes. This tenderizes the greens.
  3. Serve with an orange wedge.

Chef Daniel Orr

Chef Daniel Orr is the owner of FARMbloomington and the author of several cookbooks. He draws from a lifelong curiosity about individual ingredients combined with extensive training in the art of finding food’s true essence and flavor. The result is simple, yet sophisticated; the best of American food tempered by classic European training.

View all posts by this author »

  • OK1

    Thanks for this recipe. You are right, fresh juice makes a difference. When I am in the hurry though I use frozen 100% juice concentrate or lime juice extract. I never mixed kale with mint – off to the grocery store to pick up a bunch of mint!
    Olga from

What is RSS? RSS makes it possible to subscribe to a website's updates instead of visiting it by delivering new posts to your RSS reader automatically. Choose to receive some or all of the updates from Earth Eats:

Support For Indiana Public Media Comes From

About Earth Eats

Search Earth Eats

Earth Eats on Twitter

Earth Eats on Flickr

Harvest Public Media