In a perfect world I’d like to think I’m some kind of innovator. That after you read about my Massaged Kale “Cobb” Salad with Crispy Eggplant “Bacon” you immediately threw some paper-thin slices of eggplant in the oven to dehydrate and plunged your bare hands into a bowl of kale.
But maybe you just went on to the next blog, thinking “been there, done that.” The truth is that I never really know if I’m preaching to the choir or not. I figure a good deal of you have gone all therapeutic on your kale, because in the blogging world, it’s kind of old news. On the other end of the spectrum are people like my dear mother and best friend. Everything on my blog is new to them, and my blog is undoubtedly the best one out there.
Because it’s the only one they read.
But thankgoodness for them, calling me up and asking if I made a typo. Or if “massage” has some entirely different culinary definition that I didn’t bother to explain. Because obviously I would expect you all to know that.
The truth is, I really did massage my kale. Meaning, I worked at it with my hands, soothing, kneading, rubbing; loosening it from its rigid, tough state into a relaxed, wilted pile of tender greens.
And because it was so good, I did it again very soon thereafter; this time tossing it with buckwheat noodles, mildly sweet Alaskan salmon, creamy avocado, and a spicy, nutty dressing.
The recipe was inspired by one in Bon Appetit for a soba noodle salad with salmon, asparagus, and avocado. The first thing I noticed was that it called for six ounces (excuse me, five and a half) of pasta for four servings. A bit skimpy, no? Naturally, I added vegetables to bulk it up. That’s where the massaged kale came in. Figuring that was enough big, bright greenery, I omitted the asparagus, and added edamame for textural contrast (as if there wasn’t enough already) and extra protein. That’s always welcome around these parts. Finally, I jazzed up the dressing with tahini and a pinch of crushed red pepper, and lowered the carbs just a tad with one of my favorite zero-calorie all-natural sweeteners.
The result? Pasta I can eat! Pasta which is not the star of the recipe, but certainly a desirable accessory to bold, nutrient-packed vegetables, healthy fats and lean protein. All of it bound together with tangy tahini-based dressing flecked with ginger and spice.
A perfectly balanced dish in both nutrition and taste.
So this is your second chance. If you still haven’t tried massaging your kale, I hope this recipe will convince you.
Massaged Kale and Soba Salad with Salmon, Edamame and Avocado
Adapted from Bon Appetit, April 2011
12 ounces wild Alaskan salmon fillet
12 ounces coarsely chopped fresh kale
1 tablespoon tahini
2 tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
2 packets Truvia, or other sweetener to taste
pinch of crushed red pepper
6 ounces Japanese-style soba noodles
1/2 cup shelled edamame
1 avocado, peeled, pitted, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
Preheat broiler. Place the fish, skin side down, on a foil-lined baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper. Broil for 7-10 minutes, depending on thickness, until fish is just opaque in the center. Remove from oven, and tent with foil to keep warm.
Whisk together tahini, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sweetener, and crushed red pepper. In a large bowl, pour the mixture over the kale along with a big pinch of salt. Using your hands, work the dressing into the kale for about 5 minutes, until the kale has wilted down.
Bring a pot of water to a boil, and cook the soba noodles and edamame for 5 minutes. Drain and toss with the kale mixture.
When ready to serve, cut the salmon into large chunks. To assemble, divide the kale-noodle mixture among four serving plates, and top with equal amounts of the diced avocado and salmon. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.
Servings Per Recipe: 4
Amount Per Serving
Total Fat: 19.2 g
Cholesterol: 52.6 mg
Sodium: 757.6 mg
Total Carbs: 45.6 g
Dietary Fiber: 6.5 g
Protein: 30.7 g