Massaged Purple Kale, Carrot and Apple Salad
To bring out purple kale's underlying sweetness, pound it with earthy walnut oil until the leaves are nearly wilted and saturated — then pair it with carrots, apples and a sweet Greek-yogurt dressing. Photos by Susan Clotfelter, Special to The Denver Post
This is a powerfood version of that old picnic favorite, the carrot raisin salad. This reboot packs in the vegetables, including bruised (“massaged”) kale, in a way that would fool a greens hater. It’s also a dish kids can help prepare — they will love pounding the kale. Multicolored carrots are now available in most grocery stores; get the whole ones if you can, rather than the baby carrots. Serves 6-8. Ingredients 1 bunch purple kale, stemmed 2 tablespoons walnut oil 7 whole carrots, preferably multi-colored, shredded (enough to make 1 K cups) 2 tart apples, diced (peel on) 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice L cup plain Greek yogurt 2 tablespoons maple syrup Chopped walnuts or pecans, if desired Salt to taste Directions
When you stem the kale, discard any of the thicker, tougher leaves, or save them for soup. You want the curly, ruffly leaves, and you want them chopped fine and as dry as you can get them. Salad spinner away, but to get them drier, roll them in paper towels and don’t be afraid to squeeze or wring. Put the dried kale leaves into a bowl with a flat bottom (or a saucepan), add the walnut oil and mash them with a potato masher, kraut pestle or other implement of destruction — a wood or bamboo turner works. Get violent: you really want this kale beaten up and soaking up that nut oil. Let your most timid child unleash their inner kitchen warrior on this chore.
Meanwhile, shred the carrots in a food processor. If you have young cooks helping, engage their eyes and taste buds by asking them to taste each color of shredded carrots (the yellow carrots are moister and both sweeter and earthier at the same time). See if they can tell which color they’re tasting with their eyes closed. Core and chop the apples into small julienne pieces and sprinkle with the lemon juice to keep from browning. When the kale is sufficiently bruised (it will be shiny all over and significantly wilted), add the carrots and apples to the bowl or pan.
In a separate bowl, stir together the Greek yogurt and maple syrup to combine. Add to the kale mixture and stir well until all ingredients are well coated. Taste and correct seasonings; add nuts if desired. Finally, salt to taste. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight.