~ Kale Salad with Carrots, Cranberries, Sunflower Seeds and a little TLC ~
Have you massaged your kale lately? Seriously. And don’t you worry, this superfood is not high maintenance requiring prima donna treatment. Quite the contrary, in fact. Kale is pretty easy going, simple to prepare, tossed in salads, blanched or baked in the oven – all modest and unassuming stuff for a cruciferous veggie with rock star status when it comes to nutrition. And rock star, indeed: Kale is packed with vitamins, nutrients and minerals. It’s an excellent source of antioxidants, has anti-inflammatory properties and helps to prevent heart disease and cancer. It also has tough and sturdy leaves that can be difficult to digest when eaten raw in large quantities. So what to do if you love kale and want to join its healthy fan club? Try a little massage with lemon juice, oil and a pinch of salt before tossing in the salad bowl. Rub the leaves for a few minutes to coat the leaves, and you will be rewarded with a slightly softened version of the hearty kale leaf with heightened flavor – and a big bowl of healthy kale salad for all to enjoy. That is, if you feel like sharing.
Massaged Kale Salad with Carrots, Cranberries and Sunflower Seeds
1 large bunch lacinato or green curly kale – tough ribs removed, leaves torn or chopped
2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 small garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 skinny carrots, thinly sliced
2 scallions, green and white parts thinly sliced
1/4 cup dried cranberries
2 tablespoons toasted sunflower seeds
For the kale: Place the kale in a large serving bowl. Drizzle with lemon juice and olive oil. Sprinkle with salt. Massage the leaves for 2 minutes to coat and slightly soften. Set aside.
For the dressing: Whisk all of the ingredients except the oil in a small bowl. Add oil in a steady stream, whisking to emulsify.
Assemble salad: Add carrots, scallions and cranberries to the kale. Drizzle with dressing and toss to coat. Sprinkle with sunflower seeds.