Kale Salad with Apple, Pear and Roasted Pecans

Massaged Kale Salad with Apple, Pear, Gorgonzola and Roasted Pecans

There are lies we tell ourselves. For instance, road rage is perfectly mature and never our fault. We are the exception to the no-white-pants-after-Labor-Day rule. The eye candy at the gym is admiring us in the mirror, not his ego-centric biceps that have their own gravitational pull. After the holidays, every pair of our jeans marched themselves into the dryer and shrank. It’s not us, it’s the jeans. And the dryer.  And that’s why they still don’t fit after four months.

Or one of my personal favorites: in a world where calories don’t matter and fat pants don’t exist, we’d still choose the salad over the burrito because we love salad that much. Dirty. Lie. Is kale salad a burrito? No. Will it make you use the following descriptive verbiage: cozy, melty, toasty, gooey, scrumtrulescent, comforting, succulent, fall-off-the-bone, filling? Never. But we need it and I’ll tell you why right now.

Kale is a powerful vegetable. In just one cup of kale, you get 130 times the amount of Vitamin K and 3 times the amount of Vitamin A you need for the day and are benefited with a high density of antioxidants on top of anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties. Kale and other cruciferous vegetables are known to lower the risk of bladder, breast, colon, ovary and prostate cancer. Pluuuuus fiber

While kale is not extremely appetizing to some people, there are ways of dressing this hotty up and taking it for a spin. Most of the kale we consume in my house is in our breakfast eggs, but massaged kale salads make a consistent appearance when it’s warm outside. The key to kale salads is massaging lemon juice into the leaves and allowing the lemon juice to soften and break down some of their toughness. Then adding goodies like fruits, avocado, nuts, cheese and homemade dressing brings you to a happy, delicious place that doesn’t put you in a post-burrito stupor. No lie.

Oh hey kale, you’re looking mighty fibrous.

kale salad

Separate the kale stems from the leaves. You can use the stems in a green superfood smoothie, chop them up and add them to the salad or feed them to your dog. Give the leaves a rough chop.

kale salad

Drizzle lemon juice over the leaves

kale salad

Massage leaves using both of your hands. Really get in there!

kale salad

And then make a house a home, son!

Massaged Kale Salad with Apple, Pear, Gorgonzola and Roasted Pecans

Other great Kale Salad Recipes:

Massaged Kale Salad with Creamy Blueberry Vinaigrette by The Roasted Root

Tuscan Kale Salad by A Family Feast

Rainbow Kale Salad by Tartine & Apron Strings

Grilled Kale Salad with Beets, Figs and Ricotta Cheese by Five and Spice

Massaged Kale Salad with Apple, Pear, Gorgonzola and Roasted Pecans

Kale Salad with Apple, Pear and Roasted Pecans

Prep Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 12 minutes
Servings: 2 large salads
Author: Julia


For the Salad

  • 1 head green kale
  • 1 lemon juiced
  • 1 Fugi apple shredded
  • 1 Bosc pear thinly sliced
  • 1 cup raw pecans roasted
  • ½ cup gorgonzola cheese or desired amount

For the Balsamic Vinaigrette

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon honey


  1. Prepare the balsamic vinaigrette by whisking all ingredients together until the oil and vinegar do not separate and the dressing appears creamy. You can also put the ingredients in a blender and blend. Set aside.
  2. Remove the kale leaves from their stems and either discard the stems, chop them to add to the salad or save them for a green smoothie.
  3. Give the kale leaves a rough chop and put them in a large salad bowl.
  4. Squeeze the lemon over the leaves (about 1 tablespoons of lemon juice).
  5. Massage the kale leaves with both of your hands for 30 seconds or so. Allow kale leaves to sit in the lemon juice 10 minutes. This helps soften the leaves and break down some of the tough fiber.
  6. While the kale leaves are sitting, peel the apple and shred it using a box grater. Slice the pear.
  7. Spread the pecans on out on a cookie sheet and roast them at 350 degrees F for 5 to 10 minutes until they get some color and they are fragrant. Careful not to leave them unattended as they burn easily!
  8. Add the shredded apple, sliced pear and roasted pecans to the salad bowl with the kale leaves. Toss the salad with desired amount of balsamic vinaigrette and sprinkle with feta!

Massaged Kale Salad with Apple, Pear, Gorgonzola and Roasted Pecans


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  1. Abby

    You just might get me to try raw kale! I’ve been reading about the whole massaging kale thing…I think you sold me. PS. I bought a head of butter lettuce at the farmers market this weekend and thought of those yummy tacos!

  2. a farmer in the dell

    lady I would take the kale salad over the burrito any day!!! And that is no lie!!! This looks so scrumptious. if you ever want to swap kale recipes let me know. I’ve got a bunch up my sleeve!

  3. Stephie @ EYHO


    ^^Best word ever. Maybe best reserved for burritos, but you just added some of my favorite salad accompaniments to this salad, so I can’t say this one isn’t “scrumtrulescent” in it’s own right. 🙂


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