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How to Massage Kale

Are You Skipping This Crucial Kale Salad Prep Step?

If you've ever been puzzled by a recipe's instruction to "massage kale," you're not alone. This crucial step transforms kale from leathery to tender and toothsome, and should pretty much always be part of the salad-making process, but how do you actually do it?

Think of it as a hybrid spa treatment for your leafy greens that's somewhere in between a deep tissue massage and a salt scrub. You'll need a big bowl (which you'll want for tossing the kale with dressing anyway), bite-size pieces of kale, and some kosher salt.

Sprinkle the kale with a couple generous pinches of salt per big bunch. Using your fingertips, rub the salt into each piece of kale, tossing it at the same time. Keep "massaging" the salt into the kale until it turns a more vibrant shade of green and wilts slightly; this will take a few minutes. At this point you can add the dressing, tossing to coat.

Image Source: Nicole Perry
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