How to Cut Kale For Salad

Kale is a hearty, high-fiber vegetable that’s great in salads. But it can be tricky to prep properly.

The first step is to remove the kale stems. These are thick, tough, and have a bitter flavor when eaten raw.

Remove the stems

Kale is a hearty green that’s packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. But it also has a tough stem that can be difficult to remove from the leaves.

The stems of kale vary in texture and strength, so there are different ways to de-stem the leaves depending on the variety. Curly kale (also known as dinosaur kale or lacinato kale) has very crinkly leaves, while Tuscan kale, chard, and collard greens are smoother and more waxy.

Once the leaves are off the stems, they can be chopped for salads or used in soups and sauces. The stems can also be baked or fried into a nutrient-dense snack.

If you’re in the mood for a creamy side dish, try adding your kale stems to a classic minestrone or creamy soup. It will add a bit of extra flavor and texture that’s sure to impress your guests! And if you’re in the mood for something a little more adventurous, try turning your kale stems into crunchy fries.

De-stem the leaves

Kale is a popular health food with its high vitamin, mineral, and fiber content. It’s a great addition to smoothies, soups, and salads because it helps keep you full for longer.

But if you’re not a fan of the leaves’ tough and chewy texture, there are ways to make kale easier to handle. The first step is to remove the stems from each leaf.

Rinse the leaves thoroughly with cool water, then dry them with a salad spinner or paper towels. Then, cut them into thin slivers.

A drizzle of oil and a splash of acid, like lemon juice or vinegar, can also help soften the tough plant wall that holds kale together. This makes it more palatable, and helps the leaves survive a night in the fridge without getting soggy.

Using this technique, you can quickly de-stem the leaves, so you can use them in any recipe that calls for kale. You can even repurpose the stems for other uses, like blending into smoothies, soups, and dips.

Cut the leaves into slivers

Kale is a great addition to salads because it’s packed with flavor and nutrition. You can use it in recipes like Feta, Kale & Pear Salad and Superfood Chopped Salad with Salmon & Creamy Garlic Dressing.

But, before you can use raw kale in a salad you need to prep it properly. Getting rid of the stems, de-stemming it and cutting it into slivers makes it easier to handle.

Next, you can massage it to tenderize the leaves and make it more digestible. This is especially helpful for curly and redbor kale, which are fibrous in their own right.

To massage kale, start by tossing it with a drizzle of oil and lemon juice. The lemon juice helps break down the cellulose in the leaves, making them more tender and easier to chew. Add salt, pepper and any other seasonings you desire. Then, massage the kale for a few minutes.

Massage the leaves

Unlike most leafy greens, kale is very tough and must be massaged to soften its texture. This will make it much easier to chew and digest, and release sugars that help balance its bitter flavor.

If you’re preparing kale for a salad, it can be massaged before adding to the bowl. It can also be soaked in ice water to break down its toughness and deep clean it.

You can also julienne kale in strips using the chiffonade method. This is a French technique that results in matchstick-sized pieces of kale.

You can use this technique to cut kale for soups and stews, too. You can add the kale to the pot before cooking or just stir it in.

Ken Onion

Ken Onion is an innovative knifemaker whose work has revolutionized the industry. Born in 1963, he hails from Kaneohe, Hawaii, and invented the SpeedSafe assisted opening mechanism for Kershaw Knives - earning him a position as Premier Knife Designer with them.

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