Avocado Massaged Kale Salad

I had the pleasure recently of having lunch at Barrie’s Boon Burger. It’s a nice, friendly vegan burger restaurant. I really enjoyed their kale salad, and, as I often do, went home to experiment. Local, large leaf kale, while super nutritious, can sometimes be tough to chew and rather sharp in flavour. Since this is what I had on hand (not the fancy clamshell baby kale), I thought I would “massage” the kale with avocado. I was introduced to this technique by the lovely Julie Morris. Massaging kale with avocado, or even olive oil helps to soften both the flavour and texture of kale. It’s also strangely therapeutic to dig in with your (of course, freshly washed) hands and really coat the leaves. Adding avocado really boosts the nutrition with healthy fats, vitamins K, C, E, B5 and B6; not mention important minerals and fibre.

The salad I had at Boon Burger was topped with spiralled beets and diced dates. Loving that combination, I thought I would add dried figs, sesame and pumpkin seeds to the mix as well. I then topped it off with a balsamic vinaigrette dressing that I learned from my cousin Anne.

Avocado “Massaged” Kale Salad

1 bunch of organic Kale
Sliced red onion
Spiralized beet (we carry a great spiral slicer in the boutique)
2 – 3 tablespoons pumpkin seeds
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
3 – 4 dates – chopped
3 – 4 dried figs – chopped
1 avocado

Assemble salad: gently tear leaves into bite-sized pieces. Massage leaves with avocado until well coated. The leaves will be slightly “wilted” looking. Add remaining ingredients and top with vinaigrette.

Balsamic Vinaigrette
1/4 cup good organic olive oil
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon maple syrup
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
pepper to taste
1 clove garlic – minced

Combine above ingredients in a mason jar – shake and you’re good to go!