Massaged Kale Salad

Massaged Kale Salad

Adapted from Epicurious

This salad, like most of the recipes shared on our site, is incredibly versatile. Once you learn how to massage kale (a process intended to break down the fibers quickly so it wilts into a delicate salad green), endless varieties of seasonal salads are possible for you. 

You can massage collards and chard to reach a similar effect, and change out the salad toppings based on whatever you have on hand. Add more greens or some shredded veggies. Top with cheese and toasted nuts. Or do a combination of all the above for a decadent salad worthy of a full meal.

Yield: 2-4 servings
Time: 15 minutes


  • 1 bunch kale, stalks removed, leaves torn or roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, divided
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon honey or maple syrup
  • 5 twists freshly ground black pepper
  • 1-2 cups lettuce, spinach, or microgreens, optional
  • 1 -2 cups shredded or shaved veg (beets, carrots, turnips, fennel, radish, scallion would all work great), optional
  • 1 ounce goat cheese or shredded parmesan cheese, optional
  • 1/2 cup toasted almonds, pistachios, sesame seeds, or sunflower seeds (or a mix), optional


  1. In a large bowl, combine kale, half of the lemon juice, a drizzle of olive oil, and 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt. Massage kale until it starts to soften and wilt, about 2 to 3 minutes.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together remaining lemon juice, 1/4 cup olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, honey or maple syrup (if using), and pepper. Whisk until a smooth dressing forms. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired. 
  3. If using other greens, shredded or shave veg, and/or cheese, add those to the large bowl along with a couple tablespoons of the dressing and toss gently. Add toasted nuts just before serving, if using.
  4. Serve with extra dressing in case folks want more, but you likely won’t need more unless really piling on the extra greens and shredded veggies.


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