Massaged Kale and Sweet Potato Salad

 

A couple of years ago I came across a Massaged Kale Salad by Aarti Sequeira, one of the Food Network Star winners.  It looked interesting so I made it and loved it, and now I make it all of the time.  Ripe, juicy mango combined with fresh kale massaged with olive oil and lemon, then toasted pepitas is such a unique combination.  Since I first made Aarti’s salad, I have been playing around with massaged kale because, personally – I now prefer it over cooked kale.  I’ve made this salad with oranges, apples, oranges and apples, sweet potatoes, and a few other ingredients – some worked, some didn’t.  Sweet potato and yam definitely worked!

This massaged kale and sweet potato salad uses the same dressing and method for massaging the kale as Aarti’s, but the other salad ingredients are  different.  This particular salad can be a meal or a side.  No matter how you serve it, you’ll love it!


 

Kitchen Notes

The potatoes – For the salad in the picture I used Japanese yams, but any type of yam or sweet potato works.  Again, I don’t peel because I buy organic, so the potatoes just get a good scrubbing, then are cubed.

The kale – I prefer to use dino kale (or dinosaur kale) for this salad.  Dino kale also goes under the names Tuscan kale, black kale, Nero Toscana, and Black Italian cabbage.  Other types of  kale work, but the texture is a little different and might have to be massaged longer to break them down.

Dino kale is very easy to destem.  Just grab the thick end of the stem and with your other hand, peel the leaf away from the stem by running your hand down the stem pulling away the leaf.

The honey – Kale can be relatively bitter, so I use a full tablespoon of honey.  If you find it too sweet, then just cut back.

Other suggestions – Bobby said it was excellent but would be even better with bacon. Well DUH! What’s not better with bacon?! Next time I’ll fry up some bacon and test it out, but for now, I love it just like it is.  O.K. – I made this and topped it with bacon.  It was delicious!  I didn’t have feta, so the bacon was a great salty substitute.

Kitchen Science

Bobby is my greens washer, cutter, and masseur, and a great masseur he is!  A while back when he was washing the kale he noticed how the water beaded up on the inside of the leaf.  When he pointed it out to me I jumped into a lesson on hydrophobic vs. hydrophilic. (Yes, I am a nerd!)  That lesson then lead to this Kitchen Science.

As part of my real job, I’m developing an Introduction to Nanotechnology course for high school and freshman level students.  One of the lessons is about hydrophobic surfaces found in nature – surfaces such as that of the dino kale leaf, the lotus leaf, and the shell of the Stenocara beetle, a beetle that survives in the Namib Desert, one of the hottest places on Earth.  By studying such surfaces and what makes them hydrophobic, researchers are now developing technologies such as self-cleaning windows, wiperless windshields for cars, and water harvesting materials for drought-laden areas.  To illustrate the concept of hydrophobia, Bobby and I made the following video.

 

Notes:

  • The red particles are…you guessed it – red chile powder.
  • Surfaces that are not hydrophobic are hydrophilic. They absorb water.
  • Here’s another video using a lotus leaf to demonstrate hydrophobicity using honey.

Cool stuff!

This recipe has been share with the following blog hops.  Be sure to click on the links for more fabulous recipes!

My Meatless Monday, Just Another Meatless Monday, Hearth and Soul, Fat Tuesday, What’s Cooking Wednesday?, Real Food Friday, Allergy Free Wednesday, Whole Foods Wednesday, Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays , Summer Salad Sunday, Katherine Martinelli’s Greens Hop, Meatless Monday, Fat Tuesday, Fresh Foods Wednesday, Gluten-Free Wednesday, Made With Love Monday
Sweet Potato Salad

This recipe was featured on Summer Salad Sunday.

 

 

 

 

 

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71 Responses to “Massaged Kale and Sweet Potato Salad”

  1. Nisa Homey May 6, 2012 at 9:33 pm #

    Mj, this is awesome…such a refreshing and healthy salad…thanks for the massaging technique…bookmarked!

  2. Julia {The Roasted Root} May 6, 2012 at 10:02 am #

    I cook with kale every day and have never seen the massaging technique. I love this idea! This way you have a softened leaf but don’t loose the nutritional content that you would sometimes with steaming. I always have sweet potato and kale on hand, so this dish will be made today! Hope you’re enjoying the weekend!

  3. ginny lee May 6, 2012 at 6:59 am #

    massaging some kale today for food52 mozzarella making party :) Sophie loves this salad which I find odd for a 12 year old but I am not complaining. I love it with ricotta salata.

  4. Allen@Cook! Bake! Share! May 5, 2012 at 4:05 pm #

    This is such a healthy, refreshing looking salad! I always liked watching Aarti’s cooking on Food Network, too. Thanks for sharing – I can sense it will become a favorite! Allen.

  5. Heather @Gluten-Free Cat May 5, 2012 at 8:55 am #

    I’ve never tried honey with kale, but I love the idea and will try it soon!

  6. Umm Mymoonah May 5, 2012 at 5:45 am #

    Lovely and healthy salad.

  7. Malou | Skip to Malou May 4, 2012 at 10:04 pm #

    i haven’t done anything with Kale yet.. and Aarti is one of my favorite Foodnetwork star winner. Thanks for dropping by my site.
    Malou

  8. Valerie @ From Valerie's Kitchen May 4, 2012 at 6:07 pm #

    I have never heard of massaging kale before! Sounds a little kinky but I’ll give it a try…haha. All jokes aside, I LOVE the sweet potatoes seasoned with smoked paprika and garlic. What a fantastic dish!

  9. Soni May 4, 2012 at 3:28 pm #

    Such a great idea to massage the kale!!I’ve never done it, and now cannot wait to try!!Your salad looks so tasty and delicious, no wonder you’ve made it so many times :)
    I loved the cool video as well!!How interesting :)Have a great weekend!!

  10. wok with ray May 4, 2012 at 2:03 pm #

    Salad looks delicious and the dressing sounds very light. I like that video about hydrophobic, it’s very informative. Thank you, MJ and have a very nice weekend!

  11. Nami | Just One Cookbook May 4, 2012 at 10:33 am #

    Hmm this sounds really good MJ. I think I’d like the cooked kale version too. And you cooked with the sweet potatoes, not just sweet potatoes, it is Satsumaimo!!!! Two thumbs up. I love this sweet potato so much and this salad is a keeper and going to try it. I love you cooked this just like how I like it. ;-)

    • mj May 4, 2012 at 12:22 pm #

      Nami – thanks for providing the official name of those sweet potatoes and you nice comments! The co-op doesn’t have them often, but when it does, I buy them. I love the flavor! Have a great weekend!

  12. Tiffany May 4, 2012 at 6:39 am #

    Not only does this dish LOOK amazing… it has an AWESOME name! :D

  13. Rathai May 4, 2012 at 1:21 am #

    I would love to try each and every one of your recipes because your food always looks appetizing and delicious and this one is no exception. Even the kinds of food that I typically wouldn’t care much for like salad, you make me crave it. Your passion for food really shines through your pictures.

    • mj May 4, 2012 at 12:24 pm #

      You always leave the nicest comments! Thanks!!!!!! Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

  14. Food Jaunts May 3, 2012 at 8:18 pm #

    So I totally read the title of this post and had a mental image of you massaging kale with soft music in the background by candlelight lol! (And yes, my mind can be a bit random). I’m a bit bummed though – apparently you can’t get baby bellas where you are and I can’t find black kale. This salad looks gorgeous – I love the mix of ingredients.

    • mj May 4, 2012 at 12:25 pm #

      :) :) :) Have a great weekend!

  15. Javelin Warrior May 3, 2012 at 12:10 pm #

    I learned a whole bunch today, so thank you! First, I didn’t know what it meant to “massage” kale besides the obvious thought of hiring a masseur, so thank you for cluing me in. And the video at the end is not only an interesting watch, it’s also extremely well shot and scripted (and so high def!)…

    • mj May 3, 2012 at 9:42 pm #

      Thanks Javelin for all of your nice comments! Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

    • Javelin Warrior November 12, 2012 at 1:28 pm #

      Thanks for sharing this with Made with Love Mondays, MJ – and I’ll admit I love beets but I know it’s a polarizing root :)

  16. France @ Beyond The Peel May 3, 2012 at 11:39 am #

    I have never served kale using the massaging technique referred to above but I’m fascinated. Joshua will eat kale but doesn’t love it. I wonder if he’ll prefer it this way as you do. Definitely trying this out!

  17. Kanan May 3, 2012 at 9:32 am #

    salad looks delicious

  18. Kelly @ Inspired Edibles May 3, 2012 at 9:16 am #

    I can’t believe you made that video… Is that Bobby’s voice? He sounds fantastic; truly – let’s get him his own nature show. Loved it!

    I have to try the massage technique; my blogging buddy Junia over @ Mis Pensamientos uses it frequently as well. I have always gently pan fried kale and love it that way but I need to expand my preparation repertoire and you’ve now convinced me to try this method :). Beautiful looking dish MJ.

    • mj May 3, 2012 at 9:41 pm #

      Yep – the voice is Bobby’s. He is very talented. He shot the video for me in slow mo, edited it and did the voiceover. All I had to do was come up with the idea, drop a few drops of water on the kale and write the script. Easy breasy! :) You really should try to massaged kale. It’s wonderful! Thanks for your comments Kelly and have a great weekend!

  19. Angie@Angie's Recipes May 3, 2012 at 7:50 am #

    Now I regret that I didn’t get some kale this morning from the farmer market. The salad looks fantastic!

  20. Charlie May 3, 2012 at 7:35 am #

    LOL! I think I need the massage more than the kale does! :~D

    Hello Artie:

    My name is Charlie and this is my first time to your site.

    Your recipe looks delicious!

    Your site is one to be visited again, so as soon as I post this, I will be subscribing.

    Have a Joyful Day!

    Charlie

    Suzie: Would love the recipe you have with avocado massaged into the kale.

    • mj May 3, 2012 at 9:38 pm #

      Thanks for dropping by Charlie and leaving a comment! I hope to hear from you again! Have a great weekend! MJ

  21. Katherine Martinelli May 3, 2012 at 4:56 am #

    What a wonderful recipe! I love kale and in particular dinosaur kale – it’s probably the produce I miss most in Israel! Great technique to massage it instead of cooking it, I bet it retains even more of its nutrients that way.

  22. Baker Street May 3, 2012 at 3:39 am #

    The pine nut dressing sounds delish. Lovely recipe MJ!

  23. Charles May 2, 2012 at 4:05 pm #

    Heh, I wasn’t expecting such an interesting lesson in water and surfaces today :D Fascinating – I’ve often wondered about that myself! MJ, your salad looks beautiful – so colourful, and the title makes it sound so lovingly prepared. “Massaged kale” – I bet that was some chilled out kale :)

    • mj May 3, 2012 at 9:37 pm #

      Not only does the kale get chilled out but so does Bobby. He says it’s kind of Zenlike massage greens! :)

  24. Sissi May 2, 2012 at 2:46 pm #

    I love the name! Frankly I have only had very bad experience with kale. It was maybe too old or I simply didn’t know how to prepare it. I haven’t retried for many years. Your salad sounds fantastic.

  25. Tessa May 2, 2012 at 2:28 pm #

    What a lovely flavor combination!

  26. Ramona May 2, 2012 at 12:21 pm #

    I think Aarti is fantastic and I was cheering her on during Next Food Network Star. I’m so glad she won!! I remember her making this on her show and always thought it looks wonderful and healthy. I’m glad you made it and love it so much. :)

  27. Jane May 2, 2012 at 12:20 pm #

    I love your videos … so informative, and I love this salad! I am definitely trying this over the weekend!

    • mj May 3, 2012 at 9:36 pm #

      Thanks Jane! Glad you enjoyed the video! I hope you enjoy this salad. Let me know if you try it. have a great weekend!

  28. kitchenriffs May 2, 2012 at 12:12 pm #

    I’ve never heard of massaged kale! Great concept, though – I really like the idea. And kale (or any strong tasting green ) + sweet potatoes = yummy flavor. And very nice video! I’m kind nerdy too. (In a former life I published electrical engineering & computer science textbooks + professional books, so I guess I had to be!) Good post – thanks.

    • mj May 3, 2012 at 9:35 pm #

      Thanks for your comments! I find it very interesting that nowadays, being nerdy is cool. When I was growing back when, nerdy was NOT cool. My how things change. :) Hope you’re having a great week!

  29. Sanjeeta kk May 2, 2012 at 11:05 am #

    Love the dressing..what is Pinon nuts..is it similar to pine nuts?

    • mj May 2, 2012 at 4:07 pm #

      Yes – pine nuts and pinon nuts are the same. We call them pinon nuts here in New Mexico because they come from the pinon trees that grow here. I’ve gathered pinons a couple of times, but that way too much work! :)

  30. Suzi May 2, 2012 at 10:23 am #

    MJ, this is fantastic. I have only had raw kale massaged with avocado and lime topped with hemp seed or sunflower. I will definitely try this looks delicious. Funny how the massaging of the kale makes it soft. I still love it cooked with just olive oil and garlic.

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