I began eating kale for health reasons and now my palate is sharing the pleasure.

Originally, I added kale to my diet to benefit from all the vitamins, anti-oxidants and fiber it offers. Last year, I planted a variety of kale in my garden knowing that if I had an abundant, organic harvest, I would find more ways to eat it. Originally, I only used kale in soups. The leaves took on the flavors of the broth and I basically pretended it was spinach.

When I grew brave enough to eat kale on its own, I made  crunchy kale chips. The oven roasting morphs the leaves into brittle, thin chips. They go down easy. As time passed, I discovered that I wasn’t all that interested in altering the raw kale or disguising its hearty, leafy texture. Surprisingly, I have even begun craving kale in its most natural state.

My repertoire of kale recipes is growing. I have not yet made a raw, massaged kale salad but after eating a few bites of the crunchy kale salad at Native Foods Cafe, I am excited to experiment. Though others at the Whipped household will tolerate kale, it isn’t a crowd favorite. So, I’ve decided to make weekly salads to bring to work as lunch fare.

This salad features blanched kale. Submerging the fresh leaves in hot water for less than a minute and then transferring them to an ice bath takes the “edge” off the extra crunchy greens while brightening their color and maintaining a hearty texture. I kept the salad in the refrigerator for a few days. It held up well and satisfied my daily craving.

Kale, Sesame and Ginger Salad
From Eat Life Whole, Serves 4

1 bunch of kale, washed and chopped into 2″ pieces (ribs left on)
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds

1 tablespoon ginger, minced (click to learn how to prep ginger)
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar (preferably raw)
1/8 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
In a large bowl, prepare an ice bath (about 12 ice cubes and cold water). Set aside. In a medium pot, boil 4 cups of water.
Using tongs, blanch the kale in hot water (for about 30 seconds) and immediately drop into the cold, ice bath to stop the cooking process. The leaves should turn bright green. Set aside to cool.
Prepare your dressing in a small bowl by whisking the minced ginger, sesame oil, apple cider vinegar and salt.
Strain the kale to remove all of the water. Toss with toasted sesame seeds and dressing.