Right up front I’ll just say, eating raw kale is not for the faint of heart. You really have to love kale cooked and then move on to eating it raw. As y’all know, I love all things “greens” so I’m going to eat them any way I can get them. However, I tried the raw kale salad several times at an unnamed giant health food store chain and it was inedible because the kale was not tender and there were big leaves and pieces of thick stems and not really digestible. Well, maybe for a cow.
Since we’ve had a relatively long, cool spring in middle Tennessee the kale at my farmer’s market has been delicious and tender. So, I thought, now is the time to make that raw kale salad.
If the thought of raw kale isn’t very appetizing then by all means chop it and boil it in salted water for 3-4 minutes, strain it, cool to room temperature and then add the vinaigrette and you’ll be good to go. And, if you’re eating it raw you must remove the stems and put a good medium chop on the greens and wash well. I did use the stems that were further up in the leaf since they were so much more tender than their woodier counterparts down below.
This Lacinato kale was just crying out for a little Asian vinaigrette so I went with it and included expeller-pressed sesame oil, toasted sesame oil, wheat-free tamari (soy sauce) and a little red-pepper flakes for some heat. I threw the chopped kale into a bowl, and added the dressing ingredients right on top of the kale (I was being lazy) and tossed. Whisk the ingredients in a seperate little bowl and add in a teaspoon of fresh-grated ginger, now that I think of it to give a little zing. And, another idea is to add some toasted sesame seeds on top when you serve it to make it more festive!
So if you find some really tender kale at your farmer’s market this weekend and you’re feeling adventurous then give this recipe a try…you may just love it. And remember it’s always a good idea to eat a little something raw with every meal to help you digest the rest of what you’re eating because raw foods have enzymes in them that cooked foods don’t.
Just eat your greens however you enjoy them as often as possible!
- 1 large bunch kale, stems removed & chopped small (about 8 cups)
- 3 tablespoons sesame oil
- 1-2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon wheat-free tamari (soy sauce)
- ⅛ teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
- 1 teaspoon fresh-grated ginger
- ¼ cup toasted sesame seeds
- Add chopped and washed kale to a large bowl. In a smaller bowl whisk the sesame oil, toasted sesame oil, tamari and red pepper flakes and pour over the kale, toss well and let marinate for 30 minutes to one hour tossing several times again so that the kale will wilt a bit.