MASSAGED KALE WITH POMEGRANATE, PERSIMMON, AND PISTACHIO




I LOVE this salad! I know. I know. Some of you glance a kale recipe and roll your eyes. I get it, we've seen A LOT of kale action over these past few years, but the truth is I'm not done with kale (and I have a feeling I'm not the only diehard fan out there). Plus this salad is so darned good I had to share it here today, even kale skeptics could fall for this one.

If you haven't massaged kale before, really, you should give it a go. Massaging dressing into the leaves transforms hearty, fibrous kale into green goodness that's almost unrecognizably silky and tender (plus you get a little workout). For me, raw kale is totally unpalatable, but massaged kale is heavenly - it's a totally different beast - and a delicious beast at that.

The base recipe for this salad (one of my favorite recipes in my cookbook) is always the same - I think the secret to the dressing lies in the splash of maple syrup, which brings a sweetness that tempers the kale's bitter bite. After dressing the leaves, I always add a few layers of texture, flavor and color. I like pistachios here for crunch (and I think toasted hazelnuts or marcona almonds would be equally delish). In my book, I call for kumquats and dried cranberries, but this time of year I can't resist tossing in my two seasonal obsessions of the moment - pomegranates and fuyu persimmons. They make such delicious companions to the tender kale and help the whole dish feel festively appropriate for the holiday season. I can totally see this dish as a fresh addition to the Thanksgiving table.

One last thing to keep in mind about this salad.... it holds up shockingly well. You can make a batch of massaged kale and eat it hours later or even the next day. Convenient, right?

Wishing you all the happiest of Thanksgivings. Savor that time with your loved ones.

xoxo
E


INGREDIENTS  adapted from Yummy Supper: 100 Fresh, Luscious & Honest Recipes from a {Gluten-Free} Omnivore
  • 2 large bunches kale, lacinato or red are great here
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 firm, but ripe, Fuyu persimmons, peeled and sliced into thin wedges, then cut in half
  • 1/3 cup fresh pomegranate arils
  • 1/3 cup coarsely chopped, roasted and salted pistachios
After washing and thoroughly drying your kale, discard the tough ribs, then tear or chop leaves into smallish pieces. Set aside.

In the meantime, whisk together maple syrup, lemon juice, olive oil and salt in a large salad bowl. Add prepped leaves to the bowl and massage that dressing into the leaves. Don't be shy... really go for it. Massaging the leaves for 3-5 minutes will render the leaves nice and tender. Taste as you go to experience the transformation.

When you're done massaging, taste the salad for seasoning, adding additional lemon juice, salt or maple syrup to your liking.

Enjoy.



serves 6-8 as a small side

P.S. The beautiful black cutting boards in this post were a gift from my buddies at Blackcreek Mercantile. (Thank you Josh and Kelly!) Local folks, run, don't walk to March where you can drool over Blackcreek's stunning new collection of boards, cooking tools, and the perfect step stool.  

79 comments:

  1. Beautiful! This original salad looks very promising and must tase amazing.

    Love that shot of the kale leaves.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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    1. Thanks Rosa! I do love the red kale.... it was begging to have its picture taken;)
      xo
      E

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  2. I'm not over kale, not at all! I love it soooo much, perhaps for different reasons than everyone else does. I am used to eating bitter boiled greens with olive oil and lemon, what we call "horta" in Greece, which I can't find here in the Netherlands and kale is the next best thing. I have never eaten it massaged before, even though I have been dying to try the recipe from your beautiful book with the kumquats and dried cranberries. I will have to try it soon Erin! Your photos are stunning as always!

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    1. Magda, I've tried horta and you're right there really isn't the equivalent here in the US either, though kale is a nice alternative.
      I think you'll love this massaged version. I cannot get enough of it!
      xoxo
      E

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  3. I was a latecomer to the kale train, so I'm not over it yet, and maybe never will be. I've only tried it in cooked dishes so far, so I'm looking forward to trying this method, which I haven't seen before. I'm also looking forward to seeing what 'layers' I can come up with myself!

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    1. Kristin, you are in for a treat! I love cooked kale as well, but the massaged version is quite special. And do let me know what layer combos you come up with. I'd love to hear:)
      xo
      E

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    2. I finally got around to making this, and it was Amazing!! Wow, so good. Thanks for introducing me to massaged kale! Also, I tried my hand at a different version: cumin roasted avocados, mango, and pine nuts.

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    3. Kristin, thanks so much for letting me know. I'm so glad you enjoyed the salad. It's one of my favorites. Your cumin, avocado, mango and pine nut version sounds awesome too.
      xo
      E

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  4. i love the color, texture, and crunch here! Massaged kale is truly delicious.

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  5. Wow, these photos are gorgeous! I just tried persimmons for the first time the other day (not that easy to find in Central British Columbia) and I loved them. I am going to buy them all up and make this salad, which looks super delicious :)

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    1. Thanks Kristie, persimmons are such a treat aren't they? I keep eating the fuyus like apples.

      If you have a tough time finding more persimmons, sliced apple or pear would also be really nice here with the pomegranate seeds.

      xoxo
      E

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  6. I'm loving the permission and pomegranate combination in salads right now too. You've sold me on this hint of maple syrup dressing - I'm going to make this for dinner next week while my mom is visiting. Also - I love color combination in these photos and salad, Erin!

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    1. Sarah, I love that combo too and am indulging in pom and persimmons every which way. Heading to Monterey Market this morning for more of both:)
      I think you'll love the dressing. That maple syrup really does it for me!
      xoxo to you,
      E

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  7. Now, that is the epitome of autumn in a bowl. What a beautiful salad. Any guest would be thrilled to sit down to that.

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    1. Carolyn, I'm a sun-lover, but I've gotta say... I'm so happy for this fall weather we're finally getting. And yay to the rain!
      "Autumn in a bowl"... I love that:)
      xoxo
      E

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  8. Maple syrup! I have never tried that with kale.. can't wait to now. Thank you for sharing :)

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    1. Aimee, I think you'll love it. I've been making this dressing/salad combo for years now (with recipe testing for the book and all) and I cannot get enough. The maple- kale mix is just right.
      xoxo
      E

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  9. Such a simple, but sophisticated salad. Love this!

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  10. Looks fabulous, I love kale and this salad looks a winner!

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    1. Thanks Anna. Yay! I knew I couldn't be the only kale-lover out there;)
      xoxo
      E

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  11. The colours and textures of this salad sound just wonderful; a real winter's treat. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your lovely family! xo

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    1. Thanks Kathryn! I'm loving the fall produce right now....it just feels right.
      Hope you're well, my busy friend!
      xoxo
      E

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  12. I love just about every version of kale salad out there. Colorful and great texture here. Winner.

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    1. Angela, so nice to hear from you! Thanks so much for stopping by to say hello:)
      xoxo
      E

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  13. Erin this looks so good. I have some kale still in my garden that is destined for this salad. And the addition of pomegranate is perfect for a salad this time of year.

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    1. Cred, there's nothing better than garden kale. Sadly our patch is gone for now. Jealous of yours:) Enjoy the last of your harvest!
      xoxo
      E

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  14. This sounds delish, Erin! I'm definitely trying it. Thanks!

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    1. Thanks Cynthia! I hope you love the salad as much as I do! xoxo

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  15. Oh and I love those black cutting boards. Sadly, blackcreek isn't local to me. Do you know what type of wood they are made of?

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    1. Cred, the black collection is so so beautiful (as is everything Blackcreek does!)... they're made of oxidized white oak. Sigh...

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  16. I'm not crazy about kale, but like you mentioned, I love how it holds up as leftovers the next day. I haven't actually massaged kale before and am looking forward to giving it a go. I've been obsessed with persimmons this year because I discovered that my parents have a tree in their front yard and can't wait to try out this recipe soon.

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    1. Emily, I'm so curious to hear what you think of the massaged kale. Lemme know if you try it.
      And enjoy that persimmon tree of your parents. Lucky you!
      xo
      E

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  17. Not only does this salad have all of my favorite things in one bowl, it is truly, truly stunning!

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  18. Cheers to kale massages! I do it all the time...this one looks so festive. Happy Nesting.

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    1. "Kale massages"... you are cracking me up:) xoxo E

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  19. I'm still a huge kale fan too :) this looks really delicious!

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    1. I figured I couldn't be the only fan;)
      xo
      E

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  20. Erin - what a simply PERFECT fall salad! I just wish I had a large bowl of it right now. Love your photos and have been enjoying your cookbook. Hope you are doing well and hopefully we can get together for lunch once your book tour settles. Have a great week!

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    1. Yes, let's meet for lunch in the new year! I'd love that Lisa.
      I'm so glad you're enjoying the book...makes me very happy!
      xoxo
      E

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  21. Oh how I love kale and pomegranates!!
    I've only had persimmon a couple times before, so definitely need to explore it more!

    {Teffy's Perks} X

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    1. I fall more in love with persimmons every year. They are definitely worth exploring:)
      xo
      E

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  22. I've completely converted my parents to raw kale - we're staying with them at the moment while we get our flat done up and my mum initially turned her nose up. Once she'd realized how it softens and holds the dressing, she loved it! They're also big fans of kale crisps now too which are a lifesaver for my Dad's waistline :-)

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    1. Kate, ooooh I love kale crisps too!
      So fun that you are cooking for/ and with your parents these days:)
      xoxo
      E

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  23. Belive it or not, but my base for kale salad is completely the same! I love this dressing and yes, massagine kale makes magic!)

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  24. Hi Erin, I recently discovered your blog. So lovely. I like to make kale salads, especially this time (autumn) of the year. I also massage kale leaves, especially when making kale chips. I was planning to post another kale salad on my blog this weekend. I might just adapt yours! Thanks for the inspiration!

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    1. HI Martine, thanks for leaving a comment. Welcome!
      I've never tried massaging the kale before making kale chips. Great tip... thanks!
      xo
      E

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  25. I made this salad tonight to accompany a piece of salmon. Wow, did I ever have a yummy supper! All the flavors blended together deliciously. I will definitely be bringing this salad as a side dish for Thanksgiving.

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    1. Yay! I'm so glad you enjoyed the salad! xoxo

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  26. Kale is still abundant in the garden...got to keep making kale salad!

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    1. Lucky you, Ustabahippie. Keep on enjoying that homegrown goodness:)

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  27. Whew... I am one of those who roll their eyes on the word "kale"
    But I never say never, so maybe I'll have my relaxed, massaged first-time kale soon... ;-)

    Thanks a lot for sharing!
    Salma

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    1. Salma, yep. you're not alone. there has been some serious pushback on the kale craze, but I tell you... when done right, those greens are so so good. I'd love to hear what you think of massaged kale if you end up trying it.
      xoxo
      E

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  28. Hi Erin, we are big kale lovers here, there is no way to get tired of it. You are so right, massaging kale is the best way to eat a salad, love that you added maple syrup!

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    1. Cheri me too. We really love the stuff!
      xoxo
      E

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  29. This was my first time really massaging kale and I think next time I'll have to do an even better job because the kale was still a little rougher than I think it was meant to be. I loved all the flavors in this salad and that it used up some of the persimmons I have on hand from my parent's tree bounty!

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    1. Emily, how long did you massage the kale? Just curious?

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  30. danke für die tollen bilder und inspirationen!!! einen schönen dienstag wünscht angie aus deutschland

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  31. Hahahaha I'm so happy these are persimmons and not sweet potatoes! So much more uncommon and lovely! I imagine their sweetness is perfection against all that dark, hearty kale. I love kale! I have been anxious to try your kumquat version but these flavors are just fabulous. I have been purchasing very anemic pomegranates.... so sad!

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    1. Ewwwww... I like sweet potatoes but not in this salad;)
      With your anemic poms, maybe you should wait until you can find some kumquats or tangerines to make the massaged kale. Oh it really is good!
      Wishing you guys a very happy Thanksgiving!
      xoxo
      E

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  32. This looks unbelievable. I love pistachio and every other thing in this salad!

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  33. Love this combination Erin! Persimmons in salads is totally the way to go. You continue to inspire me with your thoughtful recipes and incredible photography. Can't wait to make this!!
    xoAshley

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    1. Thanks lovely! I hope you had a great Thanksgiving! xoxo

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  34. Erin, I hope you had a wonderful thanksgiving with your family. This recipe is gorgeous, keep the kale coming! xx

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    1. Najwa, thanks so much. We had an awesome Thanksgiving and I hope you did too. I imagine it was delicious:)
      xoxo
      E

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  35. Gorgeous! That bowl is too stunning. I've actually been a bit stumped by persimmons in the past. I think they're beautiful, but pretty sweet. Pairing them with kale is such a good idea becuase I'm sure the slight bitterness of the kale totally balances it out.

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    1. Autumn, yep! The sweet persimmons are really nice with bitter kale leaves. You nailed it:)
      xo
      E

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  36. I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! This salad looks so festive and perfect for the time of year.

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    1. Thanks Jess! I hope you did a little something to celebrate Thanksgiving even from afar.
      xoxo
      E

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  37. I'm not over kale yet. I love salads with massaged kale! These colors are so great. And, I have some persimmons and a pomegranate just waiting for me to use them.

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    1. Lisa, I'm glad I'm not alone in my love of the greens! Hope you enjoy the salad if you give it a go.
      xoxo E

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  38. No no no, the internet could never have too many kale salad recipes! This one looks and sounds so marvelous, Erin! xoxo

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    1. Kathryne, I totally agree. I'm so not over kale.
      xoxo from Berkeley,
      E

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So good to hear from you... I appreciate each and every note you leave for me!

Thanks,
E

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