This simple massaged kale salad with juicy red grapes, hazelnuts and grated asiago cheese is the perfect starter to any meal.
This salad is inspired by one of my favorite Italian restaurants in Brooklyn, Camillo. Any place that celebrates Italian flatbreads better offer up some crisp, juicy greens to get things started. And Camilo does just that with salads like this one. It won my heart even BEFORE I saw their killer cocktail list including a classic Negroni and eight variations! Customer. For. Life.
Speaking of life, however. Sadly, I can’t make it to Camillo every time I’m in the mood for this salad. Luckily with just seven readily available ingredients we can all whip this up at home. Here’s how.
Start by massaging your kale.
Rip the kale off the stems and cut it up into bite-sized pieces. Then wash and dry it well. Place it in a large bowl. Drizzle it with olive oil and freshly squeezed lemon juice. Sprinkle with some salt and then get in there and give it a nice massage. You’ll feel it start to soften and the color will start to darken. The best thing about this is your salad is now already dressed! And kale is so hearty it won’t wilt under the weight of the dressing. It will actually keep in the fridge for a couple of days. So go ahead and make a big batch. Massaged kale is great to have on hand when the hungrys overwhelm you.
Now, with the massaged kale as your base, you can add your red grapes, hazelnuts and freshly grated asiago cheese. As much as or little as you want. And that is literally it. Fresh deliciousness ready to be devoured.Serve with confidence before any kind of meal. Heavy or light. Pasta or pizza. Meaty or meatless. You should also feel free to switch it up, too.
Possible substitutions include:
- Escarole for kale
- Pepitas for hazelnuts
- Blueberries for grapes
- Parmigiano Reggiano for asiago
Or add some protein and make it a meal in itself, like:
- Grilled chicken
- Hard Boiled Egg
Get creative and let me know how it turns out! And, if the mood strikes to wash this massaged kale salad down with a Negroni, just know you have my blessing.
It takes just seven ingredients to whip up this simple, satisfying massaged kale salad.
- 1 bunch your favorite kind of kale
- 1 fresh lemon , juiced
- olive oil
- salt , to taste
- 1 1/2 cups seedless red grapes , halved
- 3/4 cup hazelnuts , chopped
- freshly grated asiago cheese
Rip the kale leaves off the thickest part of the stem and cut into bite-sized pieces.
Wash and dry kale well.
In a salad bowl, drizzle the kale with a little olive oil, all the lemon juice, and sprinkle with salt. Massage kale for about a minute until you feel it softening and see the color darken.
Add remaining ingredients and serve.
Calorie information is approximate and will vary according to how much olive oil you use and other exact ingredients.