Massaged Kale Salad

Looking for a winter salad to spice up your holiday parties? Friends, this is actually it. Yes, I’m starting to realize that on all my recipe posts, I ask you if you’re looking for a particular recipe and respond by saying that this it the recipe that you’re looking for, but it’s only because IT ACTUALLY IS! 

A few weeks ago, I had to attend a friendsgiving sick as a dog-after working day 5 of my 6 day workweek. I was exhausted and had little time to actually cook something. In an effort to save time and energy, I made what I thought was going to be the post unpopular dish of the night- a massaged kale salad. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine it would be such a hit. (Mostly because what guy doesn’t like joking about massaging kale)

ANYHOO, I love this salad for the summer because it’s hardy, healthy, and one of the very few ways I can get kale in my mouth. If I hadn’t admitted this before, I actually hate kale. It’s so hard for me to eat, and as much as other people swear by it, I’m sure it’s hard for other people to eat too! Hence why everyone seems to hide it in their smoothies. SO, if you want to give kale another try, I strongly encourage trying this rather ambiguous recipe. (Because who actually follows recipes anyways? 😉 )

In a massaged kale salad, the lettuce usually ends up reducing in size. For good measure, I usually fill up a stock pot of kale to wash it in it is sometimes ends up being enough. Once you chop and massage kale, you’ll understand what I mean!

Serves 10-12
Prep 12-24 hrs in advance


  • Lots of kale. Like more than you can imagine eating.  Like a stock pot full.
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup EVOO
  • 2-3 avocados, cubed
  • 1/2 cup semi-crushed walnuts
  • 1/2 cup craisins
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese
  • 1 cup halved grapes
  • 1/4 cup minced red onion
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper


1. Rinse kale in a bowl to remove any debris or bugs. Then remove stalks and chop very fine.
2. Put kale in serving bowl. Toss with olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper. Wash your hands (please) and GET READY TO MASSAGE! Rub the chopped kale between your leaves, letting fixings really get into those leaves!
3. Let kale sit in fridge at least a few hours before serving. This will help the lemon juice break it down so it’s not so tough. I prefer letting it sit over night because again, I struggle to chew kale.
4. Add cheese, walnuts, grapes, craisins, onions and avocados. Serve and watch your friends fall in love with kale!

If you don’t love all the ingredients in this recipe, feel free to play around with what you do like. 🙂

Author: Stephanie Voytek, RDN

Have a healthy and happy relationship with food by cooking with That Certain Touch.

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