For the past 4 years or so I've been eating this kale salad almost every single day from summer until my black kale finally dies back in January or February.
Black Kale, the only vegetable to be known by more names than Puff Daddy, is a less bitter kale than what you might be used to. Under most circumstances it is also less bitter than Puff Daddy.
Black Kale also goes by the stage names: Tuscan Kale, Lacinato Kale, Cavolo Nero or Dinosaur Kale.
Black Kale is the only kale I like.
Which is a good thing because as far as Kale goes (which we all know is a "superfood" blah, blah, blah) Black Kale has some very specific benefits.
The Health Benefits of Black Kale
- Black Kale contains a thing in its cells that gets converted to another "thing" once it's chewed. This second "thing" has been proven to inhibit and destroy cancer cells. You will get 10X the anti-benefits if you eat the kale RAW. Here's one of the studies if you're the medical journal type. The "thing" is called aIsothiocyanates (ITCs) by the way.
- Kale is also anti-inflammatory which helps with arthritis, asthma and autoimmune disorders.
- Per gram, kale is packed with more calcium than milk.
- In 2013 a study was done and preliminary findings were that Black Kale in particular had neuroprotective and immunomodulatory effects. This means Black Kale is now being studied as something that could provide health benefits for people with MS.
A bit of research showed me that Black Kale is particularly good for you. We have also learned on our little journey today that you get 10 X, TEN TIMES, the health benefits in terms of kale being an anti-cancer agent if you eat it raw. I didn't know that. All I knew is that I really like this kale salad and I eat it a lot.
I've talked about it for years now and I figured with fresh, locally grown kale available to one and all, this would be the perfect time to lay it on you.
It's my favourite salad for 3 reasons: It has very few ingredients, it's easy to make and you can dress this salad and leave it in the refrigerator for a week and it doesn't go soggy.
The actual salad is made up of just 3 things. Black kale, parmesan cheese and toasted breadcrumbs (or croutons). That's it.
So the only prep work is making the dressing and cutting the kale.
Kale has tough ribs so I remove those first. Just slice down either side of the rib and pull it away from the kale. Then, because even though black kale is the least tough of all the kales, you still need to slice it fairly thin to make it easier to chew. I mean, it IS kale after all. I cut my kale into anything from ¼" to ½" wide strips across the width of the kale.
Then I pour on my dressing (recipe at the bottom of this post) and perform the MOST important task with ANY kale salad. I touch it. I caress it. I give it a massage.
Massaging the kale does 2 things. It helps open the cell structure which makes the kale less tough and it allows the dressing to enter the kale giving it better flavour. Kind of like simmering a stew. Massage the salad and then put it in the fridge for a day. You can eat it right away but it's much better after it's been massaged and recuperated from it's massage for 24 hours.
When you want to eat it, just pull a handful out of the bowl, top it with shaved or grated parmesan cheese and some toasted breadcrumbs. I use spelt crumbs when I can find them otherwise I just crunch up a few croutons with my fingers and sprinkle them over the salad.
BLACK KALE SALAD
- ½ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- 3 garlic cloves minced then mashed
- 2 Tablespoons white wine vinegar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Big pinch of red pepper flakes1-2 bunches of kale depending on the size of your family and their appetite for kale
- Parmesan cheese to taste shaved or grated
- Bread crumbs or croutons
- Prep kale by removing ribs and cutting leaves into ¼" - ½" strips.
- Whisk together the first 6 ingredients.
- Pour dressing over prepped kale.
- Massage dressed salad then refrigerate overnight.
- Add big shavings of parmesan cheese and a handful of croutons or crumbs and serve.
- Salad will keep, dressed, in the fridge for up to a week.
If you want to make this salad UNFORGETTABLE, try sprinkling some Buzz Button flower petals on top of it. Not sure what those are? O.K., you have to learn about Buzz Buttons immediately. They make your whole mouth tingle and dance. You can even grow them yourself.
Two other things that help me out with making this the easiest salad ever is using one of my favourite kitchen tips, this little premeasured salad dressing bottle DIY and keeping the kale fresh in one of these bags prior to prepping it.
For someone who couldn't get their ass in gear to write this post I've managed to work this simple salad recipe into a whopping 1,200 words.
Now if you'll excuse me I'm going to "lie on the grass under trees on a summer's day". Rolling around like a bag of Monarch Cheetos.