If you’ve been following my blog, then you know that I’m camera shy. Not of having my photo taken (although I’m not crazy about that either), but of taking food photos for my blog.
I’ve been working on my photography skills, however; and I think my Cheery Cherry Kale Salad photo is decent. It’s not great, but it’s good enough to post. I’m happy about this because I really wanted to share this sweet, creamy and delicious salad with you.
If you can’t imagine kale salad being sweet and creamy, then you haven’t tasted it properly prepared. The first time I made a kale salad it was crunchy and bitter as hell! It was so bad that I threw it out.
Then at a cooking class I took from Heidi, the owner of Life Alive, I learned that the kale stalk isn’t edible. You’re supposed to strip the leaves from the stem and just eat the leaves. Check out this De-Stemming Kale video for a simple demonstration.
Since Life Alive makes fabulous kale dishes, I thought I’d learned the secret to making kale salad. I was wrong. My second kale salad was also a flop. Stripping kale is fine if you’re going to cook kale, but doesn’t do the trick if you’re going to eat it raw.
Then I tasted an amazing kale salad that a friend brought to a pot luck and learned that she softened the kale by massaging an avocado into it. I attempted a similar salad and it was delicious. Third time’s a charm!
I’ve been experimenting with avocado-massaged kale salad recipes, and my Cheery Cherry Kale Salad is my favorite. The kale is double massaged turning it from tough to silky and the cherries and beets give it a wonderful sweetness and a rich ruby color. It’s a beautiful, guest-worthy salad.
Cheery Cherry Kale Salad
This makes a small side salad for 4 or a large side salad for 2.
¼ cup pecans
Half a head of kale, stripped and shredded
¼ tsp. salt
The juice of 1 lemon
1 ripe avocado
1 cup fresh cherries, pitted and chopped
¼ cup dried cherries
1 cup shredded beets
1/8 cup red onion, finely chopped
Preheat oven to 350. Put pecans on a non-stick baking sheet and toast them just until they become aromatic, about 5 minutes. Set aside.
Place kale in bowl and wet your hands. Sprinkle salt on your hands and then begin rolling the kale back and forth between your palms. Continue doing this for 2 to 4 minutes until the kale becomes soft.
Smash the avocado in a small bowl and pour lemon juice over the top. Mix to combine. Mix the avocado mixture into the kale with your hands massaging it with your fingers. Do this for a count of 100.
Mix the cherries, beets and onions into kale and put the salad on plates.
Chop the pecans and sprinkle them over the salads.