Although I had my first raw kale salad years ago in the form of a kale Caesar at a restaurant in Berkeley, it’s taken me until this now to make it myself. Raw kale salads haven’t appealed to me as much as they have to others for the sole reason that most of the kale sold has had tough, super curly leaves. Salads made from that kind of kale are like chewing on a wet Brillo pads. I know that raw kale is a super good-for-you food but how much of it can I really eat to be ‘healthy’? Not much. Kale, I thought, was best boiled, simmered, or sauteed. Well, until now.
We’ve been making an Asian style kale and seaweed salad once a week for a couple of months. The switch happened when I noticed that our farmer’s markets were loaded with kale whose leaves were soft, ruffly (not curly) and practically velvet-feeling. Local farmers were selling 2 bunches of organic kale for $3 and of course, I had to strike. The vendor I queried didn’t know what variety it was but vouched for the leaves as being extra suitable for raw kale salads. So I gave it a whirl.