Massaged Kale Salad: Orange, Dill, Scapes and Balsamic Version


  • one bunch kale (any type works, curly varieties are especially nice) 
  • one small handful of fresh dill leaves and/or flower heads
  • 2-4 garlic scapes
  • 4-6 tablespoons orange juice
  • 3-4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 4-5 tablespoons olive oil or walnut oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (or more, to taste) 
  • 1 can garbanzo beans, or about 2 cups home-cooked garbanzo beans 


Trim the center stems from kale leaves, and chop into roughly 1-inch squares (i.e., bite-sized pieces). 

Place the kale in a large bowl, and sprinkle with the 1/4 teaspoon salt, 3 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar, and 4 tablespoons of orange juice. 

Begin grabbing the kale by large handfuls in the bowl, and squeezing….keep grabbing, squeezing, and mixing back in until all the kale turns a brighter greens, and feels softer and less springy. You can also rub smaller handfuls between your fingers…this is the massaging, which breaks down a bit of the toughness of the kale leaves and will make them softer and easier to chew.  This may take several minutes, so be patient and just keep massaging.  

When kale is soft, set it aside and chop the dill and garlic scapes finely.  Toss them in with the kale, add the olive or walnut oil, and begin taste-testing. You may want to add more vinegar, more orange juice, or salt.  When you like the general combination, add the garbanzo beans, and stir.  

Serve immediately, or chill to serve later.  Goes well with a bed of brown rice, rolled in a whole-wheat tortilla, or stuffed into pocket breads.