Citrus-Massaged Kale Salad….and Kids.

KIDS! Sigh…!

All of a sudden, my nearly 10 year old who worshipped the ground I walk on, is on to new and improved families. They seem to entertain her more, humor her ever so kindly, and even feed her better. This weekend, I picked her up from a picnic with her friend, whose mother is a fantastic DIY cook, and the first thing she announced as she bounced into the car is how AWESOME lunch was. She hasn’t said that about my cooking in a long time, at least that enthusiastically, usually stating that something is “good” as I glance towards her 20 times per meal, waiting for feedback (she is my best critic after all, second to my husband). At times, she’ll give me a star-rating too, and they are usually high. But I miss the enthusiasm of her youth. The awe and the pride that she had for my cooking. Sigh…

“What did you have that you loved so much”, I asked her, curious to know if it was something unusual, something she had never had in her life, something her non-vegetarian mother had not yet created for her vegetarian self.

“Kale Salad”, she stated so proudly.


I literally just wrote ANOTHER kale recipe THE DAY BEFORE. And, everyone in our mealshare group makes kale regularly.  Seriously?!?!?!?

So, I said to her, truly proud that she ate such a hearty healthy salad for lunch versus carbs, candy or cookies:

“Well, are you gonna make it for me sometime?”

 This kale salad recipe is NOT the one she had. But I will make her create it again, and then we will share it with you :)


Citrus-Massaged Kale Salad

Citrus-Massaged Kale Salad

Citrus-Massaged Kale Salad

Serves: 4

One thing to know in the kale universe that we occupy the last few years, is that raw kale salads are best done with a little massage therapy. You may or may not have already discovered this already. Think about kale being the sturdiest most muscular leafy greens out there that need a little TLC. The leaves need some softening to become pliable in your hands. Malleable for your mouth. This inexpensive massage therapy removes the faint bitterness and eliminates the unwieldy nature of the leaf. The other huge benefit of kale salads is that they are the BEST salads for even eating as leftovers, even if dressed!


  • 1 bunch Lacinato kale or regular kale, rinsed
  • ¼ cup orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper (optional)
  • ½ cup sliced almonds or chopped walnuts
  • ½ cup pomegranate arils (or dried cranberries)


  1. Using a knife, cut off the thick stems at the base of each kale leaf. Then slice each leaf lengthwise in half, alongside any remaining thick stem. If there is any thick stem left towards the bottom half of each leaf, feel free to cut those out. (If you feel too lazy or are short on time, just tear small pieces of kale into mixing bowl).
  2. Now you will have a bunch of leaf halves. Stack them and slice into thin ribbons. Place in a large mixing bowl.
  3. In a small saucepan, heat the orange juice and olive oil over low heat, just to warm through (should not be too hot to touch). Stir in salt and pepper and mix well. Remove from heat and pour over kale salad. (The hot dressing helps the softening, but is optional. The massage by itself will be enough to soften, but let it sit awhile then before serving.)
  4. Massage kale with hands coating all kale ribbons well.
  5. At this point, you can set in fridge for about 30 minutes before serving, or you can continue with the next step and serve immediately.
  6. Stir in nuts and pomegranate arils.
  7. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

© Shefaly Ravula/ Shef’s Kitchen


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