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Thursday, March 22, 2012

Pixie Tangerine and Massaged Kale Salad

With bags of glorious Ojai Pixie Tangerines from Melissa's perched on my kitchen counter I put on my thinking cap on how to best present these to the world.  Not to be lazy, but seriously these little balls of sweet tangerine juiciness are best eaten au naturale, i.e., peel + eat.  But since that doesn't make a very exciting food blog post, I turned back to my 1/2 Mediterranean/Middle Eastern roots and decided to do a contemporary twist on a classic salad combination of oranges, black olives, and red onions.  With massaged kale....

Another massaged kale salad recipe?  Really?  Actually, no, not just another m/k/s but the first one I've ever made myself.  Like you, I've eaten many m/k/s's and marveled at how delicious they were, every one of them, mainly due to the perfect texture and eatability of the kale. Well the secret to that tasty tenderness, as many of you already know, is to give your kale a brief, Swedish-type massage prior to composing your salad.

Basically you put your kale, de-ribbed and torn to small pieces, or use the Earthbound Farms organic mixed baby kale that I found FOR 99 CENTS AT THE 99 CENTS STORE, OH NO YOU DIDN'T, in a bowl.  Lightly drizzle with oil/citrus/seasalt and massage with both hands for about 2-3 minutes (baby kale goes limp pretty quickly).  Then place the relaxed leaves in a serving bowl to await the embellishments.

(For your musical pleasure while massaging your kale, here's Tommy Dorsey & his orchestra::

Pixie Tangerine & Massaged Kale Salad
4 cups baby kale
11/2 Tbs. olive oil
1 1/2 Tbs. pixie tangerine juice (these babies are super juicy)
2 pinches seasalt
2-3 pixie tangerines, peeled and sliced into circles
4 red pearl onions, blanched, peeled, cut in half
1/4 cup raw, blanched, slivered almonds
1/3 cup roasted chickpeas* (optional)
additional dressing:
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. pixie tangerine juice
pinch of seasalt
2 pinches ground cumin

1.  Massage your kale as instructed above in paragraph 3 and place in serving bowl or platter.
2.  Embellish kale with juicy slices of pixie tangerines, sliced salty black olives, and red pearl onions.
3.  Sprinkle almonds and chickpeas, aka faux croutons, over the salad.
4.  Drizzle with additional dressing.

* Roasted Chickpea recipe: 

P.S.  I sure hope all my links work.


  1. This salad looks absolutely scrumptious! Such a beautiful balance of savory, sweet and spice. Love the idea of the faux croutons - much healthier and more interesting too. The roasted chickpeas sound great. Your "yum" presentation of them is perfect.

    Can't wait to get some kale and give it a massage.

    About the link, I'm sending you an email.

  2. Question about those beautiful pearl onions: How long do you blanch them for--only enough to peel them or a bit longer to get them somewhat tender so they won't be too aggressive for those relaxed, massaged greens?

    1. I blanched the pearls 5 minutes or so. You are so on point - raw pearls or red onions would be much too aggressive. P.S. Attention everyone: please add as many Kalamata or other salty black olives as you'd like to your salad. Thanks Faye for catching my omission.