Kale salads have become a bit ubiquitous these days, which is actually a great thing. Everyone knows that this dark leafy green is mega good for you, but do you actually know how good it is?
A member of the cruciferous vegetable family (along with broccoli, Brussels sprouts and cabbage), kale is bursting with beneficial vitamins including vitamin K, vitamin A and even vitamin C! Vitamin K promotes bone health, prevents blood clotting, and crucially regulates our bodies' inflammation. Vitamin A supports healthy vision and skin. Vitamin C is a necessary nutrient to help maintain our immune system, hydration and metabolism. Kale also contains high amounts of manganese, fiber, and calcium (more calcium than milk, calorie-for-calorie!). Of all the leafy greens, kale boasts the highest level of carotenoids, which are plant compounds that studies have shown help lower our bodies' risk of developing certain types of cancers (in the case of kale, this includes breast, colon, prostrate, ovary and bladder cancer). On top of all this goodness, kale is super detoxifying, as its high amounts of fiber and sulfur help maintain healthy liver function.* Pretty amazing.
A quick note/advance warning that this recipe also asks you to massage your kale. Yes, you heard that right. Massage. Many of you may be familiar with this technique by now, but in case you aren't: vigorously rubbing raw kale leaves for 2-3 minutes with a drizzle of olive oil, lemon and/or vinaigrette is a wonderful method to use when serving it raw because breaks down the leaves' tough and fibrous structure, making it much easier to chew and digest. It also mellows out the bitter taste, which I think merits extra bonus points. So wash those hands and get ready to get intimate with your salad!
I've been on a crazy raw corn kick this summer because raw corn is so sweet and delicious. Succulent, ripe white peaches work alongside the corn in this salad to bring an aromatic sweet note to offset the bitter undertones of the kale, while basil provides an herby punch and feta rounds out the plate with its salty creaminess. This salad screams of summer. Maybe not as much as a caprese, but pretty damn close. So what are you waiting for? Summer won't be around for much longer, better celebrate it while you can!
White Peach, Fresh Corn & Shredded Kale Salad
1 bunch lacinato kale
2 ears of corn, shucked and kernels sliced off cob
2 ripe white peaches, sliced into 1/4"-1/2" wedges
12-15 basil leaves
3 oz. (generous 1/4 cup) feta cheese
2 Tbsp. cold-pressed olive oil
salt + pepper
1. Remove the stems from each kale leaf. Stack about 8 of the leaves on top of each other into a horizontal pile and roll them together into a long log. Using your fingers to keep the leaves rolled together, slice the log perpendicular to the roll into strips as thinly as you can (this technique is called chiffonade). Repeat this with the remaining kale.
2. In a large bowl, drizzle 1 Tbsp. olive oil onto the kale and massage with your hands by rubbing the strips vigorously between your fingers until the kale has softened and vastly diminished in volume, 1-2 minutes.
3. Add corn kernels to the kale. Squeeze in juice of half a lemon, season with a generous pinch of salt and a crack or two of black pepper and mix gently.
4. Stack the basil leaves as you did with the kale, roll into a log and cut into thin strips.
5. Add basil, peach wedges and crumbled feta to the salad. Toss gently.
6. Taste and adjust dressing and seasoning. If your palette is anything like mine, it may need more oil and will definitely need more lemon. Enjoy!