my friend melanie introduced me to the wonders of raw kale salad. she brought it to a brunch at chuck and hank's place, and i fell in love. she explained that the kale was first rubbed with salt, which apparently breaks down the cellular structure just enough to make the leaves tender and delicious, while preserving that fresh taste.
our kale, which had over-wintered in our cold frame, has really taken off this spring. we harvested a bunch, and i made a salad from this recipe:
1 bunch kale
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt (or more, to taste)
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1 grapefruit, sliced and chopped
chop the kale into thin ribbons. drizzle the olive oil onto the kale, sprinkle with salt and then massage the kale with your hands. add lemon juice, vinegar and grapefruit to kale, toss and serve. (recipe adapted from one i found on elanaspantry.com).
the salt massage also releases the juices, and brightens the leaves to a glossy emerald. this one has grapefuit, but you could leave it out. melanie's salad featured pomegranate seeds, sparkling like little jewels, in the rich green ruffles.