So much has already been written about the super-duper health benefits of kale, and yes it certainly is one of life’s ‘super-foods’ but as an added incentive, served raw in salads, kale really is rather delicious and incredibly versatile. I do find it slightly bizarre that even though this leafy green is grown in nearby Brittany region, it is scarce to find in my local markets and veggie stores, so always grab a pack whenever able to. In its completely raw, straight-from-the-bunch state, kale is astringent and difficult to enjoy but this is easy to remedy; strip the leafy greens from the fibrous ribs, toss into a mixing bowl with a splash fruity olive oil, fresh lemon juice and a sprinkle of sea salt and massaging (the leaves). This sounds odd but massaging breaks down the tough cellulose structure, transforming the leaves from tough and bitter to silken sweet. It only takes a few minutes before noticing a colour change to darker green as well as feeling the texture suddenly change. Taste to assess, massaging for a couple of minutes extra if the leaves are still bitter.

This particular salad is structured around what happened to be in the fridge; earthy tamarillo, warm, buttery edamame, the sweetness of toasted hazelnuts and a salty-richness from Parmesan supply texture and depth to the lightness of kale. Likewise, a combination of kale with chickpea and feta cheese is delicious and so too is apple, beet and strawberry with balsamic dressing.

Kale Salad with Edamame, Hazelnuts & Parmesan
serves 4

3 or 4 kale branches, stripped of fibrous ribs
splash of fruity olive oil
juice of a lemon
sprinkle of sea salt
seeds of 1 tamarillo (optional)
handful of podded edamame beans
handful of toasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped
mint leaves
shavings of Parmesan

Fingers are the easiest way to strip then roughly tear the kale into bite sized pieces. Place it along with a splash of olive oil, juice of a lemon, sprinkle of salt and tamarillo seeds before massaging together for a couple of minutes. You will notice a colour change as the leaves darken and feel the texture soften. Add the remaining ingredients, toss to evenly distribute the dressing; taste before adding a little more olive oil or lemon juice if necessary then leave for half an hour or so, allowing flavours to infuse.