Massaged Kale Salad with Toasted Bread Crumbs


Any kale will work for this salad. If using curly or Red Russian kale, strip the leaves from the stems. Massaging the kale with salt helps tenderize it quickly. I usually use a very acidic dressing to break down the toughness of kale, but this method makes it possible to use a slightly more delicate dressing. Make sure to rinse thoroughly if using this technique.

  • 1 bunch kale
  • 1 tbs sea salt,
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 tbs butter, melted
  • 4 tbs olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 small shallot, finely diced
  • 1 tbs red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • parmesan cheese, shaved or grated

1. Stack the leaves of the kale bunch and slice them into thin ribbons. In a large bowl, toss ribbons with sea salt and kneed the salt into the kale until it begins to soften and you can squeeze a bit of water from the kale. Rinse all the salt from the leaves and spin dry. Refrigerate until later.

2. Toss breadcrumbs with melted butter and 1 tbs olive oil. Using a toaster oven or a regular oven set to 450 degrees, brown the bread crumbs, about 3 minutes. Set aside to cool.

3. While the breadcrumbs are cooling and the kale is refrigerating, make the dressing: whisk together shallot, vinegar, lemon juice, honey, and remaining 3 tbs olive oil, plus a pinch or two of black pepper.

4. Toss kale with dressing and breadcrumbs. Top with shaved parmesan cheese to taste.

Text and photography by Katie Darlington– Taproot employee, home cooking enthusiast, and farm-to-kitchen blogger. More of her recipes and writing can be found on her own blog, The Sweetness of the Season.