I’m not a big food trend-er. It took me awhile to come around to kale in everything. I was using it in soups before it creeped its raw way into my salads and smoothies. When I do bend to a trend, I often let a restaurant show me the way. Somewhere I had seen kale salads advertised as “massaged.” This sounded ridiculous to me yet I was failing to recreate the kale salads I was eating in the restaurant world. Then, I googled it.
Massaging kale was a real thing. It made the leaves more tender and brought out its green color. I tried it. It was true. But, this fussing over a raw ingredient had made kale a bit of a high maintenance roughage. Then I happened upon a curly kale salad at a wine shop (that also sells food) in town and when they told me the didn’t massage the kale, I didn’t believe them. Then I went home and tried the trick.And, I’m here giving it to you.
You ready? The trick is to toss the kale in olive oil and let it sit for at least 10 minutes before you want to eat it, if not overnight. I’m here to tell you that overnight sounds ridiculous. And it is, but what it says to me is that I can make a kale salad one day and eat on it for a few days without having to “make” another salad. Does this make sense? Basically, you don’t get the leftover soggy salad problem with this trick. In fact, it makes the kale better the longer it gets cozy with the oil.
This main meal salad could easily categorize as comfort food. I think it’s the sausage. Sausage just screams home and cozy to me. The kale and cabbage are there to erase the effects of sausage. I truly believe that life is a balancing act and I act accordingly. Sometimes.
By the way, everything in this salad, except for the garlic and spices was sourced through my home delivery service Seasonal Roots. And no, they didn’t sponsor this.
- 14 cups de-stemmed and chopped curly kale
- 2 cups shredded purple cabbage
- 1 halved and thinly sliced asian pear
- 1 lb. sage sausage (a breakfast sausage will do)
- ⅔ cups pureed pumpkin
- 3 tbsp olive oil, seperated
- 2 tbsp sherry vinegar
- 1 tbsp dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp water
- 1 tsp honey
- ¼ tsp salt
- ⅛ tsp cinnamon
- ⅛ tsp fresh grated nutmeg
- leaves from 1 sprig of thyme
- 1 medium sage leaf
- 1 small garlic clove
- a pinch of cayenne
- ¼ cup pumpkin seeds
- Place the kale in a large bowl. Pour 1 tbsp on the kale and toss with tongs. Set aside.
- Heat a heavy bottomed skillet on medium high heat. Pinch the sausage as you add it to the pan. Cook, turning a few times, until browned (5-8 minutes). Drain on a paper towel.
- For the dressing: Place the pumpkin, 2 tbsp olive oil, vinegar, mustard, honey, water salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, thyme, sage, garlic, and cayenne in a high speed blender. Blend until smooth and combined. This is a thick dressing, but if you'd like it thinner, just add water 1 tsp at a time.
- To assemble the salad: Place the kale in the bottom of a large serving bowl big enough to hold everything. Layer the cabbage on top. Place the pear slices on top. Pile the sausage crumbles in the middle and around the bowl. Pour on the dressing and sprinkle with pumpkin seeds.
- Let your guests see your pretty presentation, but I suggest tossing before serving so that the dressing coats everything.
- * You'll have more pear slices than pictures.