Oh Kale Yeah!
Kale and Grape Salad Recipe
By Wendi Jenkins
I LOVE kale, but I know many people cringe when they hear this superfood mentioned. They just cannot bring themselves to try it, let alone like it.
I’ve found over the years that it makes a huge difference if the kale has been “prepped” correctly. Meaning, the tough center stem has been removed since it’s so bitter and course. I even go as far as to remove the thicker side veins in the leaf, if needed. You can either use the point of a sharp pairing knife to cut out the center stem/veins, or I have found you can use your hands to rip the kale leaf away from the stem.
I find if you do this prep work, everyone loves a good kale salad!
The other trick to a good kale salad is to “massage” the kale a little. This helps break it down so it’s not so stiff and instead more palatable.
After I de-stem and de-vein my kale, I chop or rip it into bite size pieces. I then sprinkle a little salt on it (just use your salt shaker) and massage with my hands. I put my clean hands into the salad bowl, squeeze and release the kale in big handfuls until it is broken down a bit.
Most kale salads I make have some feta cheese in them because the salty taste of feta enhances the flavor of the kale.
One main advantage kale has over other greens, especially in summer heat, is that it does not wilt as quickly under the weight of dressing. This makes it perfect to take to summer gatherings or potlucks.
Kale and Grape Salad Recipe
My kale and grape salad is a crowd pleaser and a great “first kale salad” if you are just learning to eat kale. It is meant to be a side dish.
- 2 Bunches of Curly Kale – washed, dried, center stems and large leaf veins removed (see notes above)
- 1/2 – 3/4 Vidalia Sweet Onion – sliced paper thin
- 2 Cups Halved Red Grapes – cut length wise
- 3/4 Cup Raw Almonds
- 1 Cup Feta Cheese Crumbles
- 1 TBSP White Sugar
- Old Bay Seasoning or Some Type of Season Salt
- Garlic Expressions Salad Dressing – this is sold in the produce section, but not in the fridge. Looks like a small bottle of white wine.
If time permits, place your sliced onions in a small container with the Garlic Expressions Salad Dressing. Cover onions completely and marinate for a couple of hours or overnight in the fridge. This allows the sweet juices of the onion to be released and enhance flavor. This step can be skipped, if you are running behind.
Chop your cleaned/de-veined kale into bite size pieces. Put into a large bowl and salt lightly with a salt shaker and then massage with your hands to break down the kale.
In a dry skillet, toast your raw almonds lightly on medium heat. Once they start to toast, sprinkle them with the white sugar; shake pan a bit so sugar sifts to the bottom. Leave undisturbed on the heat until the sugar starts to melt and liquify. Stir with spoon so liquid sugar coats the nuts. Remove from heat and sprinkle with a bit of Old Bay Seasoning or season salt. Set aside to cool.
Use a fork to remove onions from dressing and add to kale. Add grapes, feta and almonds, then toss. Slowly add the dressing you used to marinate the onions and toss. You do not want to overdress, yet all kale leaves should be covered.
If you need any additional dressing you can use some straight out of the bottle. If you have “marinated dressing” left, it keeps well in the fridge for your next salad!