We’re not suggesting you take your kale to massage therapy, but get your hands in there and toss it around! Massaging the kale, or just tossing it vigorously with kosher salt, oil, and a splash of apple cider vinegar helps soften and infuse the leaves with the dressing. Massage for a full minute for the best results.
The tangy, softened kale becomes the perfect backdrop for grilled summer peaches, toasted pumpkin seeds, and crumbled feta. Sub any local stone fruit you can find, plums or apricots would also work great or a combination. I’d add a few extra peaches next time, and while we’re mentioning variations how about some crumbled bacon on top?
Take time to cut the kale into really fine shreds, it will give the salad a crunchy, consistent texture. Any variety of kale can be used, here we’re using a large bunch of green curly kale. If your bunch of kale is smaller, just back off on the dressing and other ingredients.
Fruit is surprisingly easy to grill – just brush the cut side generously with oil before placing on the grill. Grill until caramelized with dark grill marks. For a stunning presentation serve the grilled halves over the kale, or if you’d like to slice them like I did.
Massaged Kale Salad wtih Grilled Peaches serves 6
1 bunch kale, any variety
3 – 4 peaches
1/3 cup toasted pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
To dress the salad:
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon honey
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
salt and pepper
Rinse the kale leaves and pat dry. Remove the stems, then slice the whole bunch into thin shreds. Place in a large bowl, add 2 tablespoons of the oil, the apple cider vinegar, and a big pinch of kosher salt. Massage with your hands for 1 minute. The kale should be softened and coated with the oil, salt, and vinegar.
Combine the remaining dressing ingredients in a small bowl or jar. Toss the kale with the dressing, taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
Slice the peaches in half and remove the pit. Use a paring knife if necessary to scoop out the pit. Brush the cut side of the peaches with neutral tasting oil like canola or olive. Grill cut side down over medium high heat until dark grill marks appear.
Slice the grilled peaches. Transfer the kale to a platter or serving bowl, and top with the seeds, cheese, and peaches. Serve immediately.