A Holiday Detox, Massage Included

Photo by t-dubisme

At this time of year, in the post-Thanksgiving, pre-holiday haze, we want detox foods made with little cooking fuss. Thankfully Lacinato kale is still in season when 'tis the season; with this no-cook kale salad you'll reserve (and spend!) the calories for next month's round of feasting.

Also known as Tuscan or dinosaur or black kale, this variety of robust leafy green may be prepared in more ways than it has names. You can sauté it with onions and garlic, roast the leaves with some sweet chili flakes to create addictive "chips," or steam a bunch with a handful of bacon bits. But have you tried massaging your kale? Yes, giving your kale a massage. Not only does this unorthodox method yield quick and easy results for an unforgettable salad, it'll rid you of some holiday anxiety as you work your kale into delicious submission.

Simply wash and slice kale leaves into one inch (or so) slices, reserving the stems for other uses ('tis the season for soups, too!). Be sure your kale is dry (if needed, try a salad spinner) and place it in a large sealable plastic bag with a few spoonfuls of olive oil and a pinch of salt. Adding the oil and salt does double duty by dressing your salad and simultaneously wilting the leaves to help remove the raw bite of this ruddy plant. Once your bag is sealed simply massage small handfuls of the leaves between your fingers for a few moments. Your kale will grow darker as the leaves become supple -- no blanching or extra pots required.

Next open the bag and place your relaxed kale in a bowl. Add a splash of your favorite vinegar or lemon juice and some pine nuts, fresh pepper, and shaved Parmesan cheese. Throw on a crumbled boiled egg or some shelled edamame and you've got a light, vegetarian meal to detoxify you before December devouring hits. Of course a massaged kale salad would make a delightful addition to your holiday menu, too.

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About the Author

Sometimes known as the Doctor of Pastrami, Lara Rabinovitch is a writer and historian in Los Angeles.
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