Here is a hearty and sinfully delicious Kale salad with walnuts and a creamy avocado dressing that you will love!
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You will basically need just a few tools, in terms of kitchen equipment.
- sharp knife - To chop or slice up the vegetables. You could also use a food processor. Make sure to use the slicer for the kale as opposed to the chopper. I used a knife for this salad.
- a chopping board - if using a knife instead of a food processor.
- two mixing bowls - one to massage the kale in as well as to mix the salad together. The other bowl to make the salad dressing.
- a whisk - to whip up the dressing.
- Kale with stems removed.
- some red onion or a small shallot, thinly diced.
- chopped walnuts - for an extra crunch.
- apple cider vinegar.
how to make this kale salad
Making the salad basically involves just a few simple steps.
- Chop the kale - I personally prefer to slice my kale really thin. Some do prefer their kale chunky. Whichever the case, I would advise making sure you cut-off as much as possible of the stemmy middle part as this tends to be bitter. One may get away with the stemmy bits when cooking the kale but it is a bit different with raw kale.
- Massage - see the heading below on how to go about it.
- Dice the onion - use a sharp knive to dice the onion over a chopping board. The smaller the better.
- Making the creamy avocado dressing - in a bowl whisk together avocado, minced garlic, a pinch of salt, black pepper and lemon juice.
- Top salad with toppings and drizzle the dressing.
how to massage kale (tenderize for salads)
At first, massaging the kale may seem silly but this is such an important step when preparing kale for salads. It involves the use of acid, salt, or both. This recipe uses salt. Massaging the kale basically assists to:
- Soften the fibres of the kale thereby making it easier to chew.
- Massaging the kale also helps reduce the bitterness, hence making it more palatable.
- It also makes the dressing sit-in better on the salad
To massage the kale, simply slice the leaves into biteable chunks, then add them to a medium-sized bowl. Next, sprinkle a tablespoon of salt and the apple cider vinegar over the kale and mix for about 2-5 minutes in firm continuous movement.
Another way to massage Kale is to take the leaves in each hand and rub them against each other. The kale should reduce in size by about half, once you are done.
The walnuts and diced onion are absolutely optional. Feel free to use your favorite toppings instead of, or in addition to the walnuts.
- cranberries and apple slices are a delicious nut-free, paleo alternative.
- bacon is also a perfect topping for those on a low carb or keto diet.
other recipes to try!
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Kale Salad with Walnuts and Creamy Avocado Dressing
MASSAGED KALE SALAD
- 250 g Kale with stems removed - approx. 6 cups
- ¼ medium red onion or a small shallot, thinly diced
- 50 g chopped walnuts - or about ¼ a cup
- 30 ml apple cider vinegar - or about 2 tablespoons
- 1 tablespoon salt
CREAMY AVOCADO DRESSING
- 1 medium-sized avocado
- juice of ½ a lemon
- 1 clove of garlic minced
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ½ teaspoon salt and pepper to taste
MASSAGED KALE SALAD
- Wash and slice the kale. Transfer the sliced kale into a medium-sized bowl.
- Sprinkle the apple cider vinegar and a tablespoon of salt on top of the kale. Use your hands to rub the kale against each other for about 2 to 3 minutes. The kale leaves should feel soft to the touch and should have reduced in volume once you are done.
- Arrange the Kale on a plate. Top with walnuts and the finely chopped onion. Drizzle the dressing (recipe below) on top and let sit for about 10 minutes then serve.
CREAMY AVOCADO DRESSING
- To make the dressing, use a food processor or blender to mix avocado, minced garlic, olive oil, juice of half a lemon, salt and pepper. In case you do not have a food processor, use a medium-sized bowl and a whisk to whisk everything together, until creamy.
- Drizzle on top of the massaged kale, allow it to sit for about 10 minutes then serve.