How to Make a Kale Salad
Learn how to tame the king of salad greens.
With its notoriously rough and fibrous texture, kale can be difficult to choke down if not prepared right. Cooking improves the texture, but with a few tricks, it can also be surprisingly delicious (and easy to eat) when raw.
Run the tip of a sharp knife down each side of the stem to separate the leaves into two strips, leaving the stem behind. Repeat this with each leaf in the bunch.
Chop the Kale
Stack the strips of kale on top of one another like a deck of cards. Once neatly stacked, cut across the stack into thin strips. Kale can be very fluffy, so stack and slice about six stack at a time.
Chopping kale into smaller pieces makes it easier to chew and allows the dressing to absorb into and soften the kale.
Rinse the Kale
Place the shredded kale into a colander and give it a good rinse. Dirt and sand often hide in the curly crevices of kale, but cutting the leaves into small pieces allows the dirt to easily rinse away.
Dry the Kale
Salad dressing slides right off of wet leaves, so dry the kale well using either a salad spinner or a clean dish cloth. To dry the kale in a towel, simply spread the leaves over a clean towel and roll it up. Gently press on the rolled towel to absorb the excess water.
Dress the Kale
Add dressing to the kale and massage it into the leaves. Allow the dressed kale to refrigerate for at least a half hour to allow the dressing to absorb. The softened kale leaves will look glossy and slightly transparent once the dressing has absorbed.
Oil and vinegar based dressings in particular, like Italian or any vinaigrette, are great at tenderizing kale.