9 June 2013

From Loathe to Love in Five Minutes With Massaged Kale Greek Salad with Chicken

Massaged Kale Greek Chicken Salad
You may recall my new food revelation when it comes to kale. Massaged kale salad is all the rage and has been for a while.  I am sometimes 3 steps behind when it comes to being on trend. The main reason this kale salad would not be on my radar would be the fact that I am just not fond of bitter greens. In true More Than Burnt Toast fashion I would be obliged to eat them when served at a friends home but to prepare bitter greens in my own kitchen was never considered...until recently.

For those of you feel the same let me urge you to give this salad a try. On the long weekend my daughter deliciously changed my mind by preparing a version of this mind-altering salad. I was so convinced that I found myself buying a huge bunch of curly kale upon my return home and made Massaged Kale Salad with Grilled Pesto Chicken and Tomato Salsa. This may have been the one and only time I have been compelled to duplicate something almost immediately. Massaging the kale changes it composition where the leaves become soft and supple and release some of their juices to become almost sweet. It's science that's pure in its simplicity.

We all have foods that we abhor. I know we have food memories that are both positive and negative. But I am here to tell you that I am a firm believer that everyone will love everything if served in a way they will enjoy it. A case in point for me would be the dreaded cauliflower. I cook it while wearing a gas mask, blitz it until smooth and creamy, add lots of Parmesan cheese and serve it with fettuccine. Delish!

As a self professed "born again" kale lover, it’s difficult not to imagine this Greek version of my new favourite served alongside a quick grilled chicken for a complete summer meal. Enjoy!!

**Massaged Kale Greek Chicken Salad**

For the chicken:

1 lemon, juiced
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
A couple good pinches salt
10 grinds black pepper
4 (6 to 7-ounce) boneless skinless chicken breasts

For the salad:

1 large bunch curly kale, de-stemmed and torn or chopped into pieces
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon dried oregano
10 - 15 grinds black pepper
1 English cucumber, peeled, cut in 1/2 lengthwise, then cut into 1/2-inch chunks
3 vine-ripened tomatoes (about 3/4-pound), cored and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
1/2 red onion, very thinly sliced
1 small bulb fennel, thinly sliced
1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese

To marinate the chicken: In a non-reactive dish, combine the lemon juice, olive oil, oregano, salt, and pepper and mix together. Add the chicken breasts to the dish and rub both sides in the mixture. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and let marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes and up to 4 hours.

To cook the chicken: Heat a nonstick skillet or grill pan over high heat. Add the chicken breasts and cook, turning once, until well browned, about 4 to 5 minutes on each side or until cooked through. Let the chicken rest on a cutting board for a few minutes before slicing it into thin strips.

Add the kale to a medium mixing bowl along with the salt, olive oil, red wine vinegar and lemon juice."Massage" kale for five minutes, or until leaves are sweet and tender. Wash your hands. Add oregano and grind in black pepper.

Mix in cucumbers, tomatoes, red onion, olives, fennel, and olives. Spill out onto platter. Fan chicken breasts over top. Sprinkle with feta cheese.

Serves 4! Enjoy!

You are reading this post on More Than Burnt Toast at http://morethanburnttoast.blogspot.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author/owner of More Than Burnt Toast. All rights reserved by Valerie Harrison.
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  1. Love the idea of using kale in a Greek salad...never crossed my mind until now, which is odd bc I love kale and I love Greek salads. Massaged my kale last night in fact but used a caesar dressing. Tonight, I will use Greek dressing! Thanks for the inspiration.

  2. I just put this on the menu for next week!

  3. I love this greek salad Val:))look delicious!

  4. I never follow trends and care very little about them... I just blog/cook as I please and use whichever ingredient I fancy. This dish looks really tasty!



  5. You think you're behind on trends? This is the first I ever heard of massaged kale and I eat kale salads a lot. GREG

  6. Una delicia de ensalada, las hago todo el año, pero en verano mucho mas y esta pasa a mi libreta!

    1. "Delightful salad, I do all year, but in summer a lot more and this happens to my book!
      Hacemos mucho más ensaladas en el verano también. A veces es todo lo que podemos hacer cuando hace tanto calor.

  7. i didn't think I would love kale salads as much as I do either! Now...I just can't get enough!

  8. Sounds like a perfect way to prepare your kale. What a yummy salad!

  9. With the last two recipes for kale salads here and in Joanne's guest post for me, I have got to get with the program and make a massaged kale salad! Love ALL of the ingredients really Val!


  10. Time for a kale spa in my kitchen! :)

  11. i always get a kick out of the term 'massaged' being used on leafy greens, but that's okay. this is a fine meal indeed!

  12. I love this. I've made lots of kale salads and have never massaged it, but I'll have to give it a try. I like the Greek flavors here too.

  13. I don't love kale but I will eat it in certain circumstances. My favorite way is roasted into kale chips. I am very intrigued by this massaging technique. Most vegetables have some roundabout way of making then taste good (except for peas...)

    You are on fire these days. I can hardly keep up with all of your posts. I think almost all of the posts in my feed right now are yours. How do you do it? :-)

    1. I have no children at home, am an early riser and eat unusual things for breakfast. Some day I will do a blog post about eating blue cheese crusted steak and baked potatoes for breakfast:D

  14. Fun post Val but I'm here to tell you that I must live under a bigger rock than you because although I eat kale a lot, I've never heard of massaging it for 5 minutes (the lucky leaves!). I can't wait to try it to see if there is a difference.

    1. In my humble opinion there is a difference since I don't enjoy the bitter leaves of kale otherwise. make your kale happy:D

  15. massaging the kale?
    oh now that's new.
    but I am eating a lot better than I was a year ago, so I love my greek salad and MUST get more greens--thus kale being the best green one can have; I need to try this.
    so massaging will make it less bitter?

    1. Up until my daughter served me a massaged kale salad I had only eaten it once. I don't care for bitter greens. Massaging it allows it to create juices that make it sweeter. Now I eat kale salad all of the time.

  16. Luckily I adore kale any way it comes, so I KNOW I would love this. :-) Especially with lashings of Parmesan. yum! :-)

  17. I guess I am farther out of it than you are, Val. Never heard of massaging kale until now. How amazing it makes it sweeter. I've used kale in soups, but like you, never liked it in salads. Yes, I'll give it a try.

  18. What a fun name for a dish! I'm in, Val. Salads are my thing these days :D. Who wants a flat stomach? Me! Have you seen my new blog? Please tell me what you think! Your opinion is important to me :D. Thanks, darling.


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