Best Ever Kale Salad Recipe

Kids who are involved in making vegetable dishes are more likely to eat them.

This massaged kale salad recipe is a winner for kids who love to get their hands into things and play with their food.

It’s no wonder that kale is taking a central place on American plates, now.

Kale is hailed as a superfood. It is associated with improving skin appearance, eye health, bone health and fighting cancer. As part of of the Brassica family, it helps the liver in detoxification.

  • It’s high in carotenoids, which lower the risk of many cancers, including lung, esophageal, mouth, pharynx and bladder cancer.
  • It is a rich source of iron, calcium, B-vitamins, fiber and health-protective phytochemicals. Doesn’t it taste good just hearing about the benefits?

Just be sure that you are serving it from organic farms, as kale is now a highly sprayed crop.

Serve the massaged kale salad with herbed grains, like couscous or quinoa.Check out the herbed quinoa recipe here that I served at my wedding reception.

 Massaged Kale Salad

NOTE: Massaging the kale with salt and acid is what tenderizes the leaves so that they are enjoyable to eat. Otherwise, raw kale is quite fibrous.

Serves 4 people

  • 1 large bunch kale, washed
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil or toasted sesame oil
  • 2 Tbsp seasoned rice vinegar or lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup sesame seeds or walnuts
  • 1/4 cup chopped green or red onion
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries (or other dried fruit)
  • 1 small or half of a large apple, diced
  • 1/3 cup crumbled feta or blue cheese


  1. Remove the kale leaves from the stems by tearing them off from the bottom to top. Place leaves in bowl.
  2. Add the oil and salt. Rub it into the leaves gently. This tenderizes them
  3. Add vinegar or lemon juice. Toss to distribute.
  4. Add the rest of the ingredients. Toss again.
  5. Adjust seasonings as needed. Give THANKS!

There are SO MANY yummy kale recipes. How do you like serving it?


  • Frances, that kale salad looks fantastic! You’re so right that kids who help make something are more likely to eat it.
    We’re going to put a link to this on our Facebook page so our fans can see your recipe.

    Keep it green!
    –Your friendly Southern California farmers at Cut ‘N Clean Greens

  • mariam legesse

    I’m going to try the Massaged Kale Salad with Fish in Fiesta Salsa. It looks great! Thanks for sharing and your whole page is full of information. Great work.

  • Hmmm! the salad recipe sounds yummy. Have not been too adventuresome when it comes to veggies, so never tried kale before. Thanks to the tip to buy organic.
    I will try this.

    • Lilia, kale is like the new spinach. It is incredibly good for you, as it has the benefits found in broccoli, cabbage, and radish. All cancer-fighting, youth-promoting. It even helps your brain because of the sulfuric compounds. Give it a try and let me know what you think. There’s a reason for the kale craze! =0)

  • Frances, this looks like so much fun, I am going to share it with my Grandchildren when they come back from Mn. I will get all the ingredients & give them all a task and have fun making this wonderful salad. Thanks

    • Hi Sharon, What a great idea! It’s so smart to get the grandkids involved in the kitchen. Kids are more likely to eat their veggies when they are involved in making them. Plus, you’re teaching them a skill – cooking! So many kids grow up without knowing how to cook, and that’s a huge disadvantage. Good for you, Sharon. I’m thrilled to hear your plan. Just make sure they wash their hands and nails before massaging the kale. =0) Let me know how it goes.

  • Aha! I’ve only eaten kale raw or as chips, so I can’t wait to try massaged kale salad. Who doesn’t want to look prettier and be healthier? Off to play with my food.

    • Good for you, Lori! The idea that we shouldn’t play with our food is really too bad. Playing with it helps us to connect with it, and hence, to enjoy it more! Eat with your fingers as often as you can. =)

  • I have kale growing in my garden right now, and I can’t wait to try this. In the past, I’ve always cooked and baked kale, but this sounds perfect for the summer. Thanks!

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