massaged kale mango salad

As with most food trends, I was super late to the phenom that is massaged kale. What can I say? I’m a curmudgeonly aging punk, so it’s only natural that I abhor fads — particularly ones that, when verbalized, make you sound like a new age, foodie asshole.

Alas, massaged kale turns out to be worth every bit of embarrassment its name evokes — which is the only reason it’s appearing on this blog. Take it from a true cynic: if you’ve been skeptical of massaged kale, just do yourself a favor and get into it, alright?*

I’m not exactly breaking new ground adding mango to massaged kale, but my spin on this dish is a little different from  similar ones I’ve encountered around the Web, many of which involve copious amounts of sugar and/or oil. This version is all about keeping it fresh and simple and letting the kale and mango shine. The final product is a beautiful, healthy dish that you can throw together in about 15 minutes flat.

Seriously, if you’re looking to eat an entire bunch of kale in one sitting, this recipe is for you. Not that I’ve done that, or anything!

Uh, just kidding. I totally have.

5.0 from 2 reviews
Massaged Kale and Mango Salad
Recipe type: Appetiser
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2-4
  • 1 bunch of kale (about 6 leaves), stems removed
  • juice from 1 lemon (about 2 Tbsp)
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 mango, sliced into ¾" cubes
  • 2 Tbsp pepitas (raw or toasted)
  1. Roughly chop kale and place in a large bowl.
  2. Add lemon juice, olive oil, and salt, and toss.
  3. Massage kale for a couple of minutes. Just get your hands in that bowl and kind of knead it, firmly squeezing it and rubbing it against itself (and the bottom of the bowl) until it's all wilted. It should be soft, darker in color, and significantly reduced in size. Its texture should be closer to "velvety" than "crunchy."
  4. Season with additional salt and freshly ground pepper, if desired.
  5. Eat right away, or chill until serving, preferably within a couple of hours of preparing it.
If you are the kind of person who always has tiny cuts on your hands (and you don't happen to be a masochist), get someone else to massage the kale for you!

*And hey, maybe if we all put our heads together, we can think up a less embarrassing verb for this cooking technique. How about “grind”? “Oh, of course I grind my kale … while popping ollies … with Cloud Rat blasting in the background.” Who’s with me?!