Kale is a powerful super food and is a wonderful way to insert more dark leafy greens into your daily diet. It is packed with vitamins and minerals to energize and protect your body. Since Roman times this lovely green has been a regular on tables across much of Europe and is now growing in popularity here in the United States. Kale is a member of the cabbage family, which also includes broccoli, cauliflower, and collard greens. Varieties include curly, flat, blue and even a blackish variety called Dino Kale. The flavors of each kind of kale differ, so try them all. To learn more about the benefits of Kale visit the folks over at MindBodyGreen.
You can eat kale both cooked and raw. Add kale to pasta sauce, smoothies, or soup like the copycat recipe for Olive Garden’s Zuppa Toscana. You can saute it like spinach (it just takes a little longer to wilt) or bake it and make Kale Chips! But hands down the best way to consume this powerful green is fresh. Today I am sharing a simple but super delicious salad of Kale leaves dressed in an amazing fresh mango vinaigrette. The difference in making a salad from lettuce greens versus kale is that the leaves of a kale plant are much sturdier than say a lettuce green. You need a nice acidic dressing to soften the leaves for your culinary enjoyment. It does not take long really, 15 to 20 minutes up to 40 minutes for a softer salad. This fresh mango vinaigrette is mind blowing. Use it on fresh kale as I have here, or on other salads or as a dressing for fish or chicken. Make free with it and enjoy the explosion of fresh mango tango it puts in your mouth.
Make up your dressing first, it is just a few simple ingredients tossed into the Ninja and processed smooth and set aside to let the flavors blend while you prep your kale. The hard part is peeling and seeding your fresh mango. Also known as “The King of Fruits” mango is a tropical fruit rich in pre-biotic dietary fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. When selecting your fruit choose ones with intact skin without any bruises or cuts. Unripe mangoes can be kept at room temperature for few days. To ripen them, keep in paper bags. Ripe fruits should be stored in the refrigerator but never below 10° F (50°C). Bring back to room temperature when the fruit is to be eaten to get the natural taste and flavor.
Wash your kale leaves thoroughly and remove the woody stems. I prefer to hand tear each leaf into bite sized pieces instead of using a knife. You do not have to waste anything however, save your washed stems for use in a smoothie later. Just wrap them up and store them in the fridge until you are ready to use them. I wrap mine in a paper towel and put them inside a plastic bag – the towel absorbs the water and keeps the stems moist. Place your freshly torn leaves into your salad bowl.
Pour and toss the dressing throughout the kale leaves. You want to coat all the leaves thoroughly. Allow the salad to marinate for at least twenty minutes or longer to soften the leaves for maximum eating pleasure. This is a light and bright explosion of flavor and powerful nutrition that is a pleasure to consume. No drudgery here!
You can serve this salad all by itself or pair it with your favorites like fish, shrimp or chicken.
- 1 bunch Fresh Kale, washed & stems removed, leaves torn
- 1 ripe Mango, peeled and diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 T chopped fresh cilantro
- 2 T white vinegar
- 1 T honey or agave nectar
- salt and pepper to taste
- ¼ C olive oil
- Add mango, garlic, cilantro, vinegar, oil and honey (or agave) and salt and pepper in a processor and process smooth.
- Wash kale leaves and remove stems, place torn bite sized pieces of leaves in a bowl.
- Pour dressing over kale leaves and toss.
- Chill for at least 20-40 minutes to allow the kale to soften.
- Serve immediately.